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Nine properties to come out of 18 Mile Creek floodplain

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX —  Nine properties included within the Eighteen Mile Creek floodplain will be able to file for a Letter of Map Amendment to come out of the floodplain.

The Colfax Village Board approved a contract with Ayres Associates in the amount of $2,000 at the May 28 meeting to submit the Letter of Map Amendments.

Jackie Ponto, village administrator-clerk-treasurer, said she had received the signatures of the nine who want to participate.

The village will assess the cost of $222 to each property owner, she noted.

One property owner did not want to do the LOMA, and if the property owner decides later on he needs the Letter of Map Amendment, he will have to pay the full cost for doing it, Ponto said.

All together, the new floodplain maps affected 18 properties along Eighteen Mile Creek.

Out of the eight remaining properties not eligible for a LOMA, three would require so much fill that it would be unlikely the property owners would be able to raise the grade enough to bring them out of the floodplain.

The three properties that need the most fill are the former Green Cow restaurant, owned by Two Guys Investing LLC, and the next two properties south along county Highway M owned by Melissa Horel and Joby and Stephanie Molde.

The floodplain covers a substantial portion of the property between state Highway 40 and Railroad Avenue west of county Highway M to the Colfax Fairgrounds and also covers property on both sides of Highway 40 east of Highway M, including part of Evergreen Cemetery.

Homes in the floodplain with mortgages are required by the mortgage lender to have flood insurance.

Ayres Associates recently resurveyed the properties and updated FEMA’s hydraulic model with more accurate and detailed information that allowed some of the properties in the floodplain to be eligible for a Letter of Map Amendment.

At a meeting of the village board on July 23, 2012, the Colfax Village Board approved paying 80 percent of the cost of attempting to remove properties from the floodplain while the homeowners would share in 20 percent of the cost.

Previous estimates given to the village board indicated that the cost for ground elevations and verifying the Flood Insurance Study (FIS) cross section elevations would be $4,000.

The cost to revise the floodplain model and submit it to FEMA and the state Department of Natural Resources would be around $9,000. FEMA would review the updated map for a fee of $5,000.