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Muncy to receive $500K to mitigate properties

By Staff | Jan 27, 2016

Lycoming County will receive $1 million from a federal program to fund rehabilitation and mitigation efforts for properties in Muncy Borough and Loyalsock Township that were damaged by Tropical Storm Lee in 2011.

The amount allocated to each municipality will be $500,000, according to state Sen. Gene Yaw, R-Loyalsock Township, who recently announced the news.

The funding will target about 12 to 15 low- to moderate-income property owners in both communities, according to Fran McJunkin, deputy director of GIS and assessment in the county department of planning and community development.

She said more detailed information about eligibility requirements is still unavailable.

In the coming months, the county intends to review the affected areas with STEP Inc. and roll out an application process.

The program is part of a larger county initiative to mitigate properties in the region and reduce the cost of flood insurance.

The Army Corps of Engineers is wrapping up a study that began last summer to establish a way to calculate future rates of flood insurance for property owners who make mitigation efforts and for those who do not.

In addition, the county intends to utilize housing money and other grant opportunities to fund future mitigation efforts, which are seen by the county as a long-term solution, as opposed to property buyouts, for those who live in a floodplain.

“You just can’t buy out every property in the floodplain,” McJunkin said.

Mitigating a property could include elevating structures, filling in basements and retrofitting utilities so they are not vulnerable to flooding.

The federal grant is known as a community development block grant for disaster recovery, which is administered by the state Department of Community and Economic Development.