Missouri city looking to buy property to demolish - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Missouri city looking to buy property to demolish

By Josh Harvison - bio | email

DONIPHAN, MO (KAIT) – Mayor Larry Ponder told Region 8 News Tuesday that the city is looking to acquire 23 different properties in the next few months as part of FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant. Ponder said the city is looking to purchase the land, demolish the buildings and leave the area untouched for public safety reasons.

City Clerk Connie Teslow said the properties are located near Quick Creek, which is known to locals as an area of frequent flooding. Teslow said the properties are located near the elementary school.

"We've already purchased seven properties and closed on those properties. We'll be closing on four more properties next week. We're hoping to move on down the list. Our complete list is 23 properties," said Teslow. "We're required with our contract for the buyout to demolish the houses and allow them to go green."

According to Teslow, the city will receive $978,180 in state and federal funding for the project. Teslow said all properties should be closed on in two months.

"They're actually scattered sites. We have some properties that are close to Current River that flood during heavy rain," said Teslow. "We have to get an appraisal, a fair market appraisal. We get the original appraisal and a backup appraisal to ensure that the offer we make is a fair market value appraisal."

Teslow said the city plans to approve another purchase of four properties Thursday. They're located on Elm Street. Doniphan is awaiting approval from SEMA to proceed with the lowest bid for demolition.

"We're beginning the demolition probably in the next week or so. We're getting ready to accept the low bid for the demolition of the first properties," said Teslow. "For the most part, these properties were rental properties. There were some homes that were not rental properties and those people have relocated and purchased other properties."

The estimated cost for demolition is approximately $5,300 for the first seven houses. The city will purchase and demolish houses on the list until funds run dry.

"The program is to buyout properties that are located in the flood zone," said Teslow. "We can use it for recreational purposes, park area for the schools or things like that."

"Quick Creek runs through part of the city of Doniphan. It has a couple of unnamed tributaries that do flow into it and when we get a heavy rain, then it becomes a problem," said Teslow. "I think it does have to do with public safety. These are properties that flood during the heavy rain season. We have in the past had to rescue people from houses."

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