UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. – University City officials are pinning their hopes on a flood basin while attempting to remain optimistic that the federal government will come through with a buyout of homes.
The city just recently received $3.2 million in federal aid to buy an apartment complex that routinely floods. University City applied for the money in a national competition and was one of the local winners.
The apartment complex will be converted into greenspace. However, the money to buy out flood-prone homes on Wilson Avenue is still on hold.
City Manager Gregory Rose said University City is putting more stock in a flood basin than potential flood buyouts.
“The first project was the detention basin project, which not only helps that group along Wilson, it helps a vast majority of the residents that frequently flood,” Rose said. “So, we are going to continue to pursue the detention basin project to get funded, even if the federal government decides not to award us the money for the buyout program on Wilson.”
For years, University City has consulted with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to solve the problem of repeated flooding.
A dog park in Overland would be relocated to make way for the basin, which would be eight acres and 13 feet deep. The price tag for the basin? $14 million.
University City had hoped to buy out 300 homes at first. But federal officials told them that was unrealistic, and the list was slashed to just 14 properties. University City had to come up with a 25% local match to get that money, but there’s been no approval from the feds thus far.