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IDNR, Village of Dieterich announce plan to buy out flood-damaged homes

Press Release - Monday, January 08, 2024

SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has agreed to provide more than $1.4 million to the Village of Dieterich in Effingham County to acquire and demolish nine homes and an apartment building that were damaged during flooding in August 2022.

The funding, through IDNR's Flood Hazard Mitigation Program, will be used to reimburse the village for approved costs associated with buyouts of buildings on a total of 11 lots on Vine, Section, Maple, and Center streets. The eastern part of Dieterich, which does not have a storm sewer system, is bisected by Dieterich Creek, which flooded during historic rainfall in 2022, causing significant water damage to several homes. These properties have flooded five times since 2000.

After the properties are purchased and demolished, deed restrictions will be placed on them to prohibit new structures from being built in the same locations.

"IDNR is pleased to be able to assist the Village of Dieterich with helping residents whose lives were upended by flooding," IDNR Director Natalie Phelps Finnie said. "As we continue to see stronger and more frequent storms, it's important that we work together to break the cycles that lead to reconstruction in flood-prone areas."

Independent studies have shown that flood acquisition projects save $6 for every dollar spent. After demolition, the land becomes green space, such as parks, trails or athletic fields, benefitting the entire community.

"We are thankful for the support of State Sen. Chapin Rose, State Rep. Adam Niemerg, and IDNR for this significant program," said Dieterich Village President Brad Hardiek. "We are extremely grateful to finally see some of our residents get the help they need to move forward."

The total estimated cost for the Dieterich project is $1,404,000, including acquisition, asbestos abatement, demolition and clearance of the acquired properties, reshaping the properties to a safe and manageable condition, and acquisition transaction expenses, such as title commitments, attorney fees, and recording costs.

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