October 26, 2020

Whitesboro Flood Buyout Deadline Approaching

News Photo

Picente & Kaleta Urge Homeowners to Apply for Federal Funding Before Nov. 13

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. and Whitestown Supervisor Shaun Kaleta are urging eligible Whitesboro homeowners who were affected by last year’s Halloween flood to apply for federal buyout money before the deadline approaches on November 13.

It was announced last month that the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) had partnered with the Town of Whitestown to offer up to $20 million to buy out the homes of residential property owners in the Village of Whitesboro through a Floodplain Easement Program.

Applications for the buyout program are due by close of business on November 13, 2020. NRCS will not accept any applications after this date.

“It is imperative that those interested in applying for this federal buyout program meet this deadline as it will be the only chance they will have to do so,” Picente said. “Oneida County and the Town of Whitestown have worked hard to make this opportunity available at the behest of the residents of Whitesboro. We will not get this chance again. This is the only time a federal buyout will be offered, and without enough applications, this funding is in jeopardy.”

The buyout of an approved property owner is achieved by NRCS purchasing a floodplain easement and the structures(s) within the easement area, and the Town of Whitestown, as project sponsor, purchasing the remaining fee title. The value of a property is based on the appraised fair market value as of the day before the 2019 Halloween storm. At the end of the process, the Town of Whitestown would become the property owner, subject to a floodplain easement held by the United States.

Participation in the program is voluntary. The submittal of an application does not lock a property owner into a buyout, but an approved property owner will receive a purchase offer for their consideration.

"Funding for the buyout of repetitive flood loss properties in the Village of Whitesboro has been sought after for decades," Kaleta said. "Now that funding has finally been secured – and knowing opportunities like this one are few and far between – the Town of Whitestown strongly encourages all residential property owners in the project area to apply. Buyouts are an integral part of the Sauquoit Creek Channel & Floodplain Restoration Program, and the Town and its program partners want to see as many people helped as possible."

Information on the program and application process can be found by visiting: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/ny/programs/easements/?cid=nrcseprd1658015

Any landowners/homeowners within the designated project area who have questions or require assistance completing their application package should email nrcs@whitestown.net or call 315-345-0489 to set up an appointment.

Oneida County Partners