Fayette County

City gets $1 million to purchase flood-prone homes

Lexington is getting $1 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to reduce flooding by purchasing and demolishing nine houses that were built in a flood plain.

The nine houses have experienced chronic flooding problems for years, said Charles Martin, the city's director of the Division of Water Quality. The properties are located on Shandon Drive in the Joyland neighborhood and on Fort Sumter Drive off Eastland Parkway.

"We're really excited, very pleased," Martin said. "I'm glad for the residents. Some of these folks, they've endured flooding for a long time. I'm glad to be able to offer them a solution, some relief for the problem. It's a good thing for the community as a whole."

The total cost of the flooding mitigation project is $1.3 million. The rest of the money will be provided by the city.

The city has not purchased any of the properties yet, but all of the owners were notified that their properties were being included in the grant application, Martin said.

Once the homes are demolished the vacant land may be used as green space, but future construction is not allowed

The city has been actively purchasing and demolishing homes that had been built in flood plains for at least 10 years.

It's more cost effective for the city to return the land to green space than it is to construct storm water control structures, Martin said.