LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - New problems for a neighborhood, that's already been flooded with them. After waiting years for a financial rescue, home owners in Louisville's west end have now learned fines from Metro Government may take a huge bite out of their flood buyouts.
Once flooded, now boarded. Some home owners along Maple Street in Louisville's west end have a whole new set of financial problems. $237,000 in fines and liens from Louisville Metro Government.
Codes and regulations assistant director Robert Kirchdorfer said that money represents real costs to taxpayers to clean up 57 of the 130 homes awaiting buyout. It's just the latest disaster for property owners like Matt Holbrook.
Holbrook decided not to fix up two rental properties on Maple Street after flash floods on August 4, 2009 devastated the neighborhood because he was waiting for a FEMA buyout. Holbrook said a letter from the Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District, the agency responsible for getting the grant money, estimated the process would take a year.
It got bogged down in red tape and the first buyout offers went out in March, three and a half years after the flood. It wasn't what Holbrook was expecting.
"The offer they gave me is not even what I owe on the house," Holbrook told us in March. "That's not a lot of help."
MSD recently told Holbrook they would raise their buyout offer on his two homes at the same time they delivered more bad news: he may not get to keep all the money.
He has $7,000 in fines assessed to the properties by Metro Government. Holbrook told me he feels like the delays were government's fault to begin with and if the buyout MSD promised didn't take so much longer than predicted, the properties wouldn't have fallen into disrepair . Kirchdorfer said home owners have a responsibility to maintain their property, even while they're waiting for a buyout.
MSD spokesman Steve Tedder said MSD is in discussions with Louisville Metro Government regarding the possible release or reduction of the fines.
"We have begun meeting with property owners and have the first closing dates being scheduled in June," Tedder said. "Just like any mortgages or taxes, whatever liens remain at the time of closing will be paid off at that time with the remainder going to the property owners. We hope to have a resolution with Louisville Metro by that time."