UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. – One of the hardest-hit St. Louis suburbs from July’s historic flash flooding just beats out a deadline to apply for federal flood funds for buyouts.
University City officials had until just before midnight Saturday to formally submit an application to buy out weary homeowners and land tens of millions of dollars.
City Manager Gregory Rose says he hopes to get around $40 million to pay for buyouts and other flood-fighting measures.
“Once the president declared this as a disaster, that opened up a program that now we can apply for these funds” said Rose. “
He says the city should be able to buy out around 300 homes that were condemned after the July flooding. University City also wants to include some of the other homes that flood time and again.
Rose says roughly 75 percent of the $40 million the city seeks would come from federal funds. University would still need a 25 percent match to meet its desires.
Despite the situation, University City narrowly met Friday’s deadline to apply for help.
“We have a lot of projects that are underway, and we wanted to make sure that we did a good job doing our due diligence,” said Rose on the application coming last-minute.
Residents, including some who lost everything, say they’re going to just wait and see what’s next.
“My entire life was sitting on this curb and got picked by the tras,” said Deanna Anderson. “I have a government whose playing games with me, but U-City officials see a light at the end of this dark tunnel.”
Some have accused officials of dragging their feet on the flood issue. Others have criticized the city for waiting close to the deadline to apply for the funds sorely needed by residents.
“I found out how to do it and told them a month ago, so to wait until the day before, you have no intention of actually helping people,” said Anderson.
If funding is cleared, some of the first homes that could get bought out are along Wilson Avenue, an area that started a buyout program in 2010. It’s unclear how soon the money might be available to residents.