Few Bellevue homes eligible for flood buyout

Tuesday, June 22, 2010 at 7:45pm

Eighty of Nashville’s 305 flood-damaged properties eligible for a home buyout program are in the west Nashville neighborhood north of Robertson and Urbandale avenues.

Not far behind, 75 eligible properties are in the Pennington Bend area, with another 62 eligible parcels in the north Nashville/Bordeaux neighborhood.

In all, three council districts –– represented by council members Buddy Baker, Phil Claiborne and Lonnell Matthews Jr., respectively –– account for more than 70 percent of the properties whose owners can opt into a buyout plan administered by Metro Water Services and funded by a combination of federal, state and local dollars

Perhaps surprisingly, only four eligible properties are in Councilman Bo Mitchell’s Bellevue council district and none are in Councilman Eric Crafton’s Bellevue district, two of the heaviest hit areas by Nashville’s historic flood.

It appears the initial wave of homes deemed eligible for program are concentrated close to the Cumberland River, as opposed to other waterways such as the Harpeth River in Bellevue.

Yesterday, Metro officials and others involved in the Hazard Mitigation Home Buyout program met with council members whose districts have homes that can be purchased and torn down under the program. The aim of the voluntary program is to reduce the number of structures within Nashville’s floodway, a defined area near a river or creek susceptible to future flooding.

After meeting with council members, the Metro water department mailed letters to property owners eligible to take part in program. More than a quarter of those letters are being delivered to Baker’s west Nashville council district, the majority of homeowners who live on the various roads and side-streets off Urbandale Avenue near a tributary of the Cumberland.

“I’ve been calling some of them and letting them know they’ll be able to buy out,” Baker said. “Some of them are happy and some of them are sad. But in the long run, I think that it will really benefit them because it’s going to flood again in the years to come.

“I hate to see it, but I think it will be the best bet for them to go ahead and take the buyout,” he said.

The Pennington Bend neighborhood, located within Claiborne’s council district, has 75 properties eligible for the buyout program, mostly homes found on Pennington Bend Road and Miami Avenue, which both flank the Cumberland.

For many of his constituents, Claiborne said the buyout program remains “a big question mark,” adding that some people have already gone ahead and sought building permits.

“There have been no details that have come out,” Claiborne said. “It’s taken a long time to put it together ... over the next week or so, there ought to be some definite opinions about it, but at this point in time, there’s really not a lot of expectations because people really don’t know what to expect.”

Homes were selected for the buyout program based on their location in the floodplain and the amount of damage they sustained during the May flood. Priority was given to homes in the floodway that sustained damage greater than 50 percent of the structure’s appraised value. Homes were then grouped to avoid isolating individual parcels.

“We have spent the last month conducting assessments and determining which properties should be included in the buyout program,” Metro Water Services Director Scott Potter said in a written statement. “We selected the homes that are most at risk of being substantially damaged in a future flood and would be the most difficult to rebuild based on the requirements of our stormwater code.”

5 Comments on this post:

By: Anna3 on 6/23/10 at 2:38

Welcome to the OBama Administrations version of a Disaster! My home is in one of the flooded neighborhoods of Bellevue and of the 45 homes damaged...NONE qualify for assistance! FEMA held meetings at the Bellevue Middle School...Mayor Dean's folks were there...all making big promises of assistance...but all of it was lies. When I did call FEMA...they asked my name and address first...the next question was..."What's your income?" Since when did disaster releif become income based? I guess that disaster do not truly impact affluent neighborhoods after all.

By: richgoose on 6/23/10 at 5:29

Obama and the federal government is all about taking money via taxes from the productive portion of society and giving it to those with no ambition,no education,no job and an unwillingness to work at the level of their competence.

The flood assistance is one of these marvels. No one gets financial assistance that has an income in excess of $9.00 per hour This country is about welfare and those who are bright enough and lucky enough to have made their money before the crash of 2008.

If you want to see the future of this country you should go to an airport and watch the people who are flying on Southwest Airlines. You will not believe what these people look like. They are there in droves and droves,where they go and why is such a mystery.


By: idgaf on 6/24/10 at 2:54

Why is metro water administering the plan?

Are they eligable for the buyout because they were dumb enough to build a treatment plant that got flooded?

Remember folks as rich goose said this is our money they are giving away. The feds have no money of their own, only what they confiscate from others.

Has anyone though of the tax revenue we will lose (which has to be made up) by declaring all these propertys no build zones? That should be left to the buyers and the mortgage holders to take the hit not the taxpayers.

By: xhexx on 6/24/10 at 10:15

Sorry Anna, you must not be part of the entitlement class?

By: robertmack on 6/24/10 at 1:56

Now if the flood victims had been down in N'Awlins, they could have gotten all the FEMA and OBAMA help available, it happened in the Hurrican Season when Katrina hit. Franklin even took them in by the busloads and put them up in shelters and gave them money and credit cards and fed and clothed them and loved them to death. Not so the local folks who lost so much. Guess we all should be in N"Awlins.