Nelsonville Gets FEMA Grant for House Demolition

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NELSONVILLE — The city of Nelsonville has been awarded a $186,801 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to acquire and demolish homes in flood hazard areas.

Up to nine homes will be demolished and the land returned to permanent green space. Participation by property owners is voluntary, according to City Code Director Steve Pierson.

The grant requires a 25 percent match, with the Ohio Emergency Management Agency providing $31,134 of the match and the city covering $31,133. Pierson said the city’s share will include $20,000 cash, with the remainder covered by in-kind services he will provide on the project.

A news release from FEMA indicates the project will involve eight properties, but an Ohio EMA document states that there can be up to nine. The city has identified nine properties, including: 314, 316, 317 and 577 Railroad St., 533 Back St., and 512, 524, 532 and 609 Patton St.

Pierson said he started with a list of about 20 potential properties and contacted the owners. Those selected are the properties closest to the Hocking River that had owners wanting to participate, he said.

The properties will be appraised, and the owners have a right to have a second appraisal at their own expense. Pierson said if a price can’t be agreed upon, that property would likely be dropped from the program.

For those properties that are occupied, there will be $5,250 in relocation money provided, according to Pierson.

The city will have two years to complete the project.