FL - Residents Learn More About Escambia County's Plans For Bristol Park Flooding FEMA Grant

Dozens of people attended a meeting Monday night to learn more about how Escambia County hopes to purchase homes in the flood-prone Bristol Park and Ashbury Hills neighborhoods from willing homeowners.

Homes in the neighborhoods have flooded multiple times, including the 2014 floods and during Hurricane Sally. Now, the county is applying for FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program that would allow the county to acquire the properties.

“You are not going to be forced into this program,” Steven White, senior project engineer for Mott MacDonald told the attendees at the Escambia County Extension Office in Cantonment. He said the program remains optional for homeowners up until a sales contract is signed.

Before Monday night’s meeting, the county sent letters to 194 homeowners in the area making them aware of the process. They received responses from 45. Of those, 28 requested applications and 13 requested one-on-one meetings for more information.

Eligible residents will need to apply in order to be included in the home purchase program. The county will determine an estimated funding need before they apply for the FEMA grant. Once the grant is awarded, Escambia County will have three years in which to acquire the properties.

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