June 22, 2024

Officials speak to Belhaven public about property buyout plan proposal

BELHAVEN, N.C. (WNCT) — Officials say most of Belhaven is familiar with flooding when storms come. This has impacted people’s lives and their property. A program being offered could help change that.

Flooding has always been an issue for the Beaufort County town when tropical storms, hurricanes and other weather events move through the area. That’s why the city is offering help to the community that they say can place them into a better circumstance.

On Tuesday, the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency introduced a program to the Belhaven community. It’s one they say can essentially change their lives for the better.

“The big focus of this program is to make sure that people have resources to move within their same community just outside the flood zones,” said Maggie Battaglin, director of mitigation for the NCORR. “So next time a storm comes through, they’re not dealing with having flood damage and working on putting their lives back together.”

So what’s the plan? To purchase homes owned in a flood zone area and demolish them for a complete green space that can be used for a community park, a garden or any type of public purpose. The previous owner of the land will get a $20,000 incentive if you sell your home and move within Beaufort County or a $10,000 incentive if you decide to move somewhere else within the state.

They can sell their properties and move somewhere that they’re less likely to flood in the future, and we make sure that we give them incentives and other payments to make sure that they can afford to do that,” Battaglin said.

Homeowners aren’t the only ones who can apply for the program.

“We allow any type of property really to apply for this program,” Battaglin said. “So it doesn’t have to be somebody’s primary residence. We do have tenant-occupied properties, rental properties that are applicants through our program as well as non-residential properties.”

As of right now, there isn’t another option for those who would like to stay in their homes due to memories, but the program director says this program will reduce trauma and helps keep money in the bank.

“It gives homeowners another option, especially with homes that have been flooded repeatedly,” said Alex Crosland, program director.

The mayor of Belhaven, Ricky Credle, was also in attendance and said he agrees with this program.

I think it’s an awesome program for our community, I think it’ll be a great asset to our community,” Credle said. “I think it will give people the opportunity to afford to have houses and properties.

Officials say due to the constant flooding of the town, they hope this program can help reduce the risk of life and property. Click here to find out more information about this program.

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