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Not All in Moorhead are Interested in a Home Buyout - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Not All in Moorhead are Interested in a Home Buyout

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Since 2009 the city of Moorhead has spent about 100 million dollars making upgrades to help hold the Red river back on years like this and also to buy out some 200 homes along the Red. But not everyone is willing to part with their river side property.

Living along the Red river presents certain challenges, like flooding of course. Jim Rothlisberger of south Moorhead has been fighting the river more often than he'd like to remember over the past 15 years.

"It's like one of those guests you never know when they're gonna show. But they'll be there." Says Rothlisberger.

But in that time Rothlisberger has been holding down the fort staying dry and keeping the river at bay. He's also been watching as his neighbors agreed to a buyout from the city one by one.

"There's seven of us left from Main Ave. to I-94. Before there was probably 50-60-70 homes here." Says Rothlisberger.

Rothlisberger says he has a hard time agreeing to a buyout. An offer he says comes every couple years. It's an offer he struggles with because it continually goes down, "if your thinking about staying you have to think about less money your going to be offered each time you stay. The value of your property is going down yearly. It's a tactic where it was at over $100,000, then 90's, then 80's now up in the 70's."

A sand bag dike built on top of Rothlisberger deck will keep this home dry to just over 40 feet. But every year Rothlisberger says it costs him monetarily. We're talking about one of the few homes that are still willing to fight on Elm Street in south Moorhead.

"How many 100 year floods do I have to deal with. I'm feeling pretty good for 500 years old hahaha." Jokes Rothlisberger.

Rothlisberger says if he has to he will sandbag his home. He'll likely begin that process within the next few days. He told us it has everything to do with the view. He has a scenic view of the river in his back yard and a couple blocks away, he has downtown Moorhead to play with. He also would like to see an offer on his home that he says is closer to it's actual value.

Improvements since 2009, like dike constructions and home buyouts, have made quite the difference as far as sand bags needed for a flood event in Moorhead. In 2009 2.5 million sandbags were needed to protect Moorhead. But as of now only a few homes in Moorhead have made requests for sandbags.

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