Buying-out flood damaged homes in Janesville - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Buying-out flood damaged homes in Janesville

JANESVILLE (WKOW) -- Two months ago, the Mole-Sadler neighborhood was under water.

Now it's flooded with dumpsters.

Janesville officials call it the hardest hit neighborhood.

Many in the area struggle to repair their flood ravaged homes, but some just can't.

"There are people here who have had substantial damage and don't want to deal with rebuilding and repairing," says homeowner Bob Baker.

Now the city is offering an option for those people.

They are applying for state and federal grants which will be used to buy flood damaged properties.

"It would be demolished and become green space beyond that point," says Jennifer Petruzzello.

The homes will be bought at pre-flood appraised value.

But homeowners like John Briggs say that won't be enough.

"We live in a flood plain, so we're assessed really low. I can never buy a house with the amount of money they give us," says Briggs.

"If a property owner doesn't feel it's an accurate appraisal- they can get another appraisal at their own cost," says Petruzzello.

There was a rumor around the neighborhood that the city was going to force everyone out of their homes.

Baker wants to stay. He spoke with city officials who told him the buy-out is voluntary.

"There are properties here than suffered little or no damage and we were told there is no problem with you staying," he says.

But Baker is just one of a few sticking around in a neighborhood that has seen some of the worst flooding ever.

Janesville officials say about 23 homes in and near the Mole-Sadler neighborhood received 50% damage due to flooding.

Those homeowners who qualify for the buy-out.

Those who chose to stay can, but are required by state law to raise their homes above the flood plain.

Fifteen homeowners showed up to the meeting Thursday night. Eleven want to pursue the buy-out.

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