Federal grant money helps Janesville recover from last year's floods - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Federal grant money helps Janesville recover from last year's floods


JANESVILLE (WKOW) -- A year after the high rising Rock River consumed much of the Mole Sadler neighborhood, resident Paul Botsford says the devastation is still evident.

"You can see where the waterline is, there are water lines on all these houses. We three neighbors this way, but I'll never have neighbors this way or neighbors that way," he says.

There are stories like this all over Janesville.

Now, some welcomed good news.

Out of the $39 million in federal grant money going to Wisconsin, Janesville gets $1.7 million of it.

A big chunk, about $1million, goes directly to helping effected businesses.

"A lot of businesses who took out loans couldn't pay back all or it. Hopefully this will help them," says The City of Janesville's Kelly Lee.

$500,000 will reimburse the city for damaged infrastructure like sewers and roads, and around $200,000 pays for the city's portion of a deal to buy out several homes in the Mole Sadler Neighborhood and turn into green space.

Money that would have had to come directly from the taxpayer.

"Now that will no longer have to happen because that funding will be coming out of this grant," Lee says.

But the Mole Sadler Neighborhood was hoping for a different grant.

The city applied for a $1.5 million dollar FEMA grant last year, Money it was hoping to use to buy out the abandoned homes.

Botsford says although many of his neighbors no longer in them, until that other loan comes through, they'll continue paying for them.

"They have to pay their mortgages, they have to pay their taxes on their properties. It all has to be paid," Botsford says.

The city plans on buying those homes at what they were worth before the floods.

As far as that FEMA grant, officials say the federal agency has until June of next year to respond.

So residents could be paying those mortgages for another year before they find out if they qualify.

For a complete list of cities and towns receiving federal grant money click here

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