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South Fargo Neighborhood Spreads Word on Buyouts - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

South Fargo Neighborhood Spreads Word on Buyouts

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Some neighbors tell us they just found out their homes south of Fleet Farm are listed in a comprehensive flood buyout plan.

Valley News Team's Hope Hanselman looked into the city's plans to find out what they mean for the future of that neighborhood.

Over the last 14 years, Todd Jacobson has watched his neighborhood grow.

"I was here before some of the properties were even built," he said.

But, he never thought he'd see it shrink.

"I remember receiving a letter about buyouts, but when I looked at the flood plane the house wasn't in it. So, I didn't think it applied to me; and I think a lot of neighbors did the exact same thing."

So, this week when he found out his home was one of hundreds the city might buy out, he walked the neighborhood's worries straight to City Hall.

"I went down with all my questions I had for him, he answered everything," Todd said.

"In that comprehensive plan, they're more of a big-picture project, more conceptual. As we're getting to the point where we're needing to develop the projects further, we'll look at other options and see if acquisition really is the right solution," Nathan Boerboom, a Division Engineer, said.

Engineers began taking soil samples this week. They'll make a decision on the buyouts after results come in.

"If they decide to do buyouts they could be making offers as early as December. Of this year," Todd said.

That's a lot faster than what Todd was prepared for. Now, he's spreading the word. He's handing out a flyer, door-to-door, with all the information he gathered from the engineers' office, because he and engineers agree, they want people informed when project meetings begin.

"We want all the neighborhood to attend these meetings, that's where we get the feedback from and we want the feedback," Boerboom said.

Because the price of this neighborhood goes beyond each home's appraisal, it's measured in the value of neighbors like Todd.

"When I found out about it in the first place I didn't sleep that night much, but now that the timelines are even closer I doubt I'll be sleeping a whole lot tonight either," Todd said.

The city is not buying out any homes yet.

But, if the buyout does happen, homeowners will be offered 110% buyout of the current assessment value of their homes, plus $5,000 in moving expenses and up to $15,000 incentive stay in city.

Engineers will be sending out a letter to everyone involved, to notify them of that public meeting in mid-September.

They're encouraging anyone with concerns or suggestions to be a part of the discussion.

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