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Story Archives: Flood buyout in parish hits month-long delay
|Flood buyout in parish hits month-long delay|
A residential buyout program for flood victims in Franklin Parish has completed its first steps, but faces delays because of unusually high demand for similar programs elsewhere in the state.
"I've done everything they have asked" said Franklin Parish Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Mitch Reynolds, "But, they told me from the start it would be a lengthy process."
Reynolds added the demand for similar programs in the Baton Rouge area, particularly East and West Feliciana and East Baton Rouge Parish, have placed state workers in the Governor's office in a backlog situation.
"It looks like it will be the first of the year before anything will happen," said Reynolds.
Representatives of the state would have to appear before the Franklin Parish Police Jury to present details of the program before it could be implemented. The jury meets regularly on the second Thursday of each month.
At its October meeting, the Jury asked Reynolds to look into setting up a buyout program for the parish.
The subject of a home buyout program had been a frequent topic of speculation since Hurricane Gustav struck the parish last September.
Many private citizens and some public officials mistakenly thought such a program was administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Flood buyouts are federally funded through the states, but must be initiated by local governments.
Once the jury fully understood how the program worked, Reynolds was designated as the parish official responsible for the startup.
"I've done all the local interviews," Reynolds said and the "next step is up to the state folks, but I'm sure we'll get it done."