From the Asbury Park Press:
Homes in a low-lying section of this northern New Jersey community will be bought and razed by the township because they regularly flood when the Pompton River overflows its banks.
Mayor Scott Rumana told The Star-Ledger of Newark for Thursday’s newspapers that the township will buy the 41 properties with the help of $5.9 million in promised federal and state aid.
Officials are making the move so they can stop having to rescue homeowners and help rebuild their houses after the floods.
Most of the properties have been appraised at between $150,000 and $175,000, Rumana said. Some homeowners paid less for their homes; properties in other sections of Wayne sell for nearly $400,000.
Melissa Miller’s home flooded several times within months of her purchase of the property three years ago, and she forecast the need to leave back then.
“I looked at my husband and kind of jokingly said, “We’re selling the house,’ ” Miller recalled. “Because it was already the third flood. And I said, “Okay, we’re done, I’m out of here, I’m not used to this.’ ”
Environmentalists said the land was never suitable for housing and will help mitigate flooding by being returned to absorbent wetlands.