Local residents could get help with flood repairs due to storms

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By Alice Du Pont

Quincy residents who suffered flood damage in March could get some relief if the Department of Community Affairs funds a $275,000 grant which the city of Quincy applied for Aug. 7. The money would come from the Florida Small Cities Block Grant fund.

According to Auburn Ford, city grant consultant, the state set aside millions of dollars in 2008 in anticipation of flooding and other disasters. Ford said about $2 million was unused and DCA allowed small cities to apply for a grant.

"We aggressively put together our application and proposal. There are four properties in the application on Flagler Street, B.W. Roberts Street and Circle Drive that we specifically targeted," Ford said.

The emergency set-aside funding, Ford said, may be used for any community development block grant-eligible activity that is needed in order to recover from the effects of the March floods. The money will be used to address serious, urgent community needs that pose an immediate and direct threat to public health, safety and welfare of low- and moderate-income residents, Ford said.

"There will be $170,000 used towards home repairs for the four properties, with $8,500 going to a relocation program for the homeowners while their homes are being repaired. This program operates like our other housing programs where the homeowner cannot sell the home before 5 years after the repairs have been made, otherwise they have to repay the money," he said.

Ford told city commissioners during a special meeting Aug. 5 that he feels certain the city will receive the grant because only about 14 other small cities applied for the funds.