Tracy Thatford has been there, done that – twice – and hopes not to make it a third time.
Thatford, of Drummers Way, in the oft-flooded Woodwinds condominium development, said she’d jump at the chance to leave her flood-ravaged home for good.
“I would like a buyout. I’ve been flooded twice,” Thatford, a Woodwinds homeowner of 11 years, said following a discussion during Monday night’s Hatboro Borough Council meeting regarding a joint state and federal buyout program. “This last flood was pretty bad.”
Hatboro Emergency Management Coordinator Fred Zollers said 24 of the 79 Woodwinds units would qualify for buyouts resulting from and . But, the catch, he said, is that all of the building’s residents would need to participate.
“The program is voluntary,” Zollers said. “We couldn’t make anyone participate.”
Thatford, who spent between $10,000 to $12,000 in repairs following the nearly back-to-back storms last year, said the development’s buildings are comprised of four units, meaning that Thatford would need to get buy-in from all three of her neighbors before a buyout could go through.
And, she said, some who have just carried out upgrades, “don’t want to hear the words ‘buy out.’ ”
According to FEMA’s Web site, buyout applications must be prepared by local officials – in this case Hatboro – with input from property owners interested in a government buyout. Various steps must be followed, including conducting a state-certified fair market appraisal.
Thatford said she has not yet obtained an appraisal of her home. Since Zollers said he only received the buyout eligibility information about two weeks ago, it is not likely that the Feb. 22 submission deadline could be met. Zollers said he requested an extension.
The council directed Zollers to reach out to Woodwinds’ management company to find out how many of the eligible homeowners would opt for a buyout.
In addition to Woodwinds residents, the owner of the previously housed by is also eligible for a buyout, Zollers said. In the event of a buyout, Zollers said the structure would be demolished, debris would be removed and the borough would be responsible for future upkeep.