The business owners of the 11 buildings demolished downtown could receive additional grant funds for their properties damaged by the summer 2008 flood in Beaver Dam.
In a news release, The Department of Administration said additional grant funds may be available for some of the business owners affected by the flooding after the properties are reappraised.
“The process will take some time and is being handled by the DOA officials,” Mayor Tom Kennedy said. “They will keep the city abreast as to where they are with the process.”
Kennedy said, at this point the state is making arrangements to appraise the properties that have been demolished.
In December 2012, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development sent a letter to the DOA stating that Commerce should have given market value to the property owners.
The HUD letter said, “We understand that the state was acting in good faith, but may have gotten some misguidance during the process of applying correct rules and HUD regulations for the Beaver Dam project.”
According to the news release, the state will determine what the market value of those long-gone properties was in 2008. If it so happens that the market value on the property is higher than the original assessed value the city appraised, the owners may receive additional funds.
Details on exactly how the state will determine the property values were not available and DOA officials did not respond to phone messages left Wednesday.
The state will also make sure the previous property owners and residents receive relocation benefits as a result of the Uniform Relocation Act.
“I would not refuse additional funding,” Owner of Dance Now! Dance Studio Julie Ronzani said. “The [original] appraisal devalued my business.”
Dance Now! was one of the businesses that had to relocate due to the floodway concerns.
After the flood in 2008, the city reached an agreement with the majority of the business owners to pay 100 percent for the loss of their property.
It cost the city $777,000 to acquire the properties and then $630,000 to demolish the buildings. The city used local funds to pay the owners. The city was later reimbursed by grant funding.
In March 2009, the city applied for a disaster recovery grant to aid in the recovery of funds used to pay the property owners.
$1.58 million in grants were provided from the former Department of Commerce’s State Disaster Recovery Program.
Kennedy said the DOA will hire a third-party to determine the final appraisal amount.