Stitzel Page & Fletcher Closes First “FEMA Buyouts” From Tropical Storm Irene

On March 26th, Stitzel, Page & Fletcher attorneys on behalf of the Towns of Bethel and Bolton, and with the assistance of Two Rivers Ottauquechee Regional Commission, closed the first Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program “buyouts” in the State of Vermont.
Through FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, municipalities are awarded grants funded 75% by FEMA and 25% by the State to purchase properties substantially damaged in the storm to preserve natural floodplains and to prevent further loss of property, both real and personal, in future flooding events.
As an incentive to convey their properties, landowners are awarded the pre-Irene appraised value for their properties, and in return purchasing municipalities commit both to remove any remaining damaged structures from the properties and to preserve the properties in a generally open state in perpetuity.
For more information about FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program or for assistance with your municipality’s real property transactions, please contact Robert E. Fletcher or David W. Rugh.