University City was one of those cities with dozens of homes condemned as a result of the July 2022 flooding.
Now they’re receiving $3.2 million in federal funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to fix some of the issues.
“It’s just one step in the process and we hope there’s several more down the road,” said Dr. John Wagner.
Wagner serves as University City’s Director of Planning and Development and says they’ll receive millions in federal funding that will cover 100% of the demolition cost for three buildings at Hafner Court Apartments.
The buildings are classified as having repetitive loss because of flooding.
Wagner says the city has been working on another federal grant that would cover 25% locally of the cost of demolition for the fourth apartment building and 12 homes on Wilson Avenue.
The other 75% would be paid for federally, however, the timeline for demolitions could vary because of the work that has to be done before.
“All the title work, all the closing cost. FEMA would then make an offer to the owner of the apartments, presuming he would take that we would then proceed with a demolition and at that point it becomes a perpetual green space for the city,” said Wagner.
In addition to University City, Ladue will receive $3.6 million and Webster Groves is set to receive $580,000 from FEMA.
“The intent and the purpose of these grant funds is to make communities more resilient so the fact that these particular properties were in flood-prone areas, they were in the National Flood Insurance Program but had repetitive loss,” said FEMA’s Regional Administrator Andrea Spillars.
Wagner says there are specific plants that could be the solutions to future flooding.
“Wildflowers, natural prairies provides a nice buffer in soaking up some of the stormwater,” said Wagner.
The city’s planning director adds the properties are ones of hundreds damaged by last July’s flood and that University City is working on additional federal buyouts.
Featured image; Unsplash