Binghamton City Council approves FEMA buyouts

By Perry Russom

Binghamton City Council approves FEMA buyouts

February 20, 2014 Updated Feb 21, 2014 at 10:20 AM EST

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Fifteen homes in Binghamton are ready to be knocked down following years of flooding in the city.

Binghamton City Council gave the go-ahead Thursday night for buyouts from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Up to $3.5 million in federal funds will go toward demolishing the homes.

Most of the homes are in the city's third district.

City Council elected to hold the vote this week saying they wanted to give the homeowners a chance to negotiate the value of their property.

"We want to make sure our homeowners have been given every opportunity to have their property given additional value," said Lea Webb, D-Binghamton City Councilwoman.

The city will first front the money and then will be refunded by FEMA.

Webb said these buyouts are the result of redrawn flood maps, which typically add or remove properties within a floodplain. As a result, some of these homes wouldn't qualify for flood insurance.

Closings are scheduled to happen by next week.

Council approved the FEMA buyout program by a unanimous vote.

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