After more than a year of waiting and wondering, some flood victims in Ward County will be some of the first to receive buyout money for flood protection.
At a CDBG meeting this week "county" officials were able to finalize plans the first round of voluntary buyouts.
Ward County Emergency Manager Amanda Schooling said the biggest difficulty in working through the buyout process is making sure every rule is followed within the CDBG program.
The county is using community development block grant money to pay for a portion of the buyouts.
Schooling said the one piece of red tape that is still lingering though is the clear identification of any possible duplication of benefits that could subtract money off of a potential buyout of a property.
She said though barring any problems the first 36 homes in Ward County, outside of the city, will start next Wednesday.
(Amanda Schooling, Ward County Emergency Manager) "It's been a very, very long process and hopefully, we can hopefully see the light at the end of the tunnel. There are some hurdles that we find out about last minute but that's why we meet without our planning council so we can figure out what are the next hurdles so we can try and get ahead of the game, hopefully the next step will be doing the second part of the environmental's looking at all the asbestos and lead paint and we're hopefully going to have that at the commission so we can get started with that as well.
How quickly the buyout process proceeds will vary on an individual property basis.
The time it take will depend on identifying any duplication of benefits and the actual closing time to transfer ownership of the property.
The next round of "county" voluntary buyouts will begin on September 6th.