Travis Co. commissioners debating flood home buyouts

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by TINA SHIVELY / KVUE News and Photojournalist KENNETH NULL

Bio | Email | Follow: @TinaS_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on December 3, 2013 at 12:16 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 3 at 1:06 PM

TRAVIS COUNTY -- The number of families fed up with cleaning from floods continues to grow in Travis County. In a push precipitated by the Halloween floods, leaders are considering buying out homes in several southeast Travis County neighborhoods.

Nearly 60 home and business owners applied for their homes to be bought out by the county, but just how much that may cost is still unknown.

The county estimated that by spring 2014, they will have $4.3 million to begin buying back the homes. They said they will prioritize and first purchase those with the most damage. They also said that many of the 51 houses and seven businesses have major damage, but some others just want to sell.

"It makes sense to have that for open space, not developable land at all, because it floods," said Travis County Precinct Four Commissioner Margaret Gomez. "But it's a nice area when it's dry. People can go down and walk along the creek and walk their horses along the trails but it's not good for living in."

The first step to determining a price is to get appraisal of the houses. There are also other costs to consider.

Commissioners said they plan to revisit the county relocation policy. The money to help families find new homes will have to come from the general fund.

This issue has been coming up at Commissioners Court since the Halloween floods. They plan to discuss this on Tuesday in executive session and could make some decisions Tuesday afternoon.

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