In response to severe flooding as a result of the 2019 Halloween Storm, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering the Floodplain Easement Component of the Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWPP-FPE) to landowners of residential properties in the Village of Whitesboro within the designated project area.
"It allows for the NRCS to come in and buyout those properties, but ultimately the NRCS's purpose in this project is to restore the floodplain back to the original state and address water quality issues," Blake Glover, State Conservaionist for NRCS said.
Earlier this month, local and state representatives announced the $20 million that was allocated to the town of Whitestown and village of Whitesboro.
Eligibility is specific, you can find the project map here.
Landowners interested in applying for the program will have until Nov. 13 to submit applications.
The first of several meetings were held Tuesday night at the Whitestown Community Center.
These meetings are for eligible residents to get more information on the program and learn how to submit an application.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there will be several small sessions this week split up by residence.
Tuesday night's meetings were for homeowners on Dunham Place, Wind Place and Ellmore Drive.
This will be a multi-step, multi-year process.
"To get from approved status all the way to buyout and demolition, there's a multi-year process and a lot of steps that have to happen before that," Shaun Kaleta, Whitestown Town Supervisor said. "An appraisal of the property and properties need to take place, there's a lot of steps to get to that endpoint but for the first time, we have a means to get to that endpoint."
Residents say this is what they have been waiting for.
"We're very hopeful right now and we are grateful because at least someone is trying to help us out," Roberto Gutierrez, a Whitesboro resident said.
“I think the meeting was well informed," Fredrick Rembetski, a Whitesboro resident said. "Some of us will take whatever we can get and leave. We got flooded in 2013, 2014, 2017, 2019, and we’ve had enough.”
The rest of the meetings are below.
Wednesday, Sept. 30
Meeting 1: 6:30 p.m., for residents of Davis Avenue, Ellis Avenue and Mohawk Street
Meeting 2: 8 p.m., for residents of Ablett Avenue
Thursday, Oct. 1
Meeting 1: 6:30 p.m., for residents of Sauquoit Street
Meeting 2: 8 p.m., for residents of Main Street
Friday, Oct. 2
Meeting: 6 p.m., for residents of Gardner Street
A virtual Zoom meeting will also be held at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, for anyone could not attend their scheduled meeting.
Click here to visit the Whitestown section of the USDA NRCS website.