Staff Writer

The Fremont County Board of Supervisors held a special meeting on February 3 to review appraisals and discuss FEMA buyouts of 20 Fremont County properties. This discussion was derailed by a need for further information and the discovery that the Flood Recovery Fund Board would be meeting on Thursday, February 6, to discuss additional flood recovery fund applications, and Fremont County’s application had not been submitted yet.

The supervisors called Southwest Iowa Planning Council (SWIPCO), and authorized them to complete and submit a request for flood recovery funds for the county’s 15 percent matching funds for FEMA buyouts, based on the appraisals that had been completed. That application is to be submitted before February 6 for review at the Flood Recovery Fund Board meeting. Actual dollar amounts for buyouts can then be figured later.

The supervisors and Deputy Fremont County Attorney Tyler Loontjer discussed the fact that the county would still need to know which landowners of potential FEMA buyout properties had received flood insurance funds before they would know how much could be paid to them for a buyout. In a FEMA buyout situation, any funds received from National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), homeowner’s structural insurance, SBA loans, or other FEMA assistance programs could be taken from the total buyout offer.

Dusty Pogones of Iowa Homeland Security attended the meeting by phone and said he had an affidavit form that the county could use to get that information from the property owners.

It was agreed that Fremont County Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Crecelius would contact each of the 20 property owners and ask them to come in to fill out an affidavit detailing the amounts of any funds received from:

• FEMA Individuals and Households Program/Emergency Home Repair (IHP/EHR);

• National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP);

• Private homeowner insurance structural claims;

• Jumpstart rehabilitation/repair assistance;

• Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, and

• Any other funds received in regards to the March 2019 flooding event.

Homeowners will be asked to fill these affidavits out and have them returned to Crecelius by no later than Friday, February 7. Crecelius hoped to have most people fill theirs out on the spot at his office. With all of these affidavits completed, the supervisors will be able to hold another special meeting at 9 a.m. on February 10 to further discuss buyout costs.

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