IL releases state portion of FEMA buyout money for residents in - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

IL releases state portion of FEMA buyout money for residents in Alexander County

(Source: KFVS 12) (Source: KFVS 12)
OLIVE BRANCH, IL (KFVS) -

After Illinois lawmakers passed a temporary budget, some folks in Alexander County are slated to receive flood buyout money they were promised years ago.

The state announced it is releasing millions of state dollars in FEMA buyouts that had been frozen for nearly a year while Illinois operated without a budget.

Alexander County officials credit local state lawmakers with making sure the Illinois DNR funds made it into the temporary budget passed this June.

That means more than $10 million of federal and state funds will now find their way into Alexander County.

About 120 people are still waiting for their money. That’s out of the 169 that applied for and received buyout plans from 2011 flood damage.

Officials say they understand it's been a long process but this is a step in the right direction.

"A lot of people were thinking it might not ever happen but we're starting to see things move again so hopeful they can get their money and their place bought or get out of water and stop moving in and out everything the water comes up," county chairman Chalen Tatum said.

Tatum says the county has taken bids from contractors as they prepare to demolish structures on 12 of the remaining properties.

Appraisals on the rest of the properties will first have to be reviewed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources before funds make it to the owners.

Tatum adds that although the money is freed up, it could take another year before all 120 property owners receive money they're owed.

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