Board may assist in purchase of flood zone homes

Greenwood is considering spending more money on purchasing homes in the downtown area near Pleasant Creek as part of a plan to allow homeowners to move out of a flood zone and create a gateway into the Old Town area.

The Greenwood Stormwater Department recently was awarded a nearly $1 million grant earlier to cover 75 percent of the cost of purchasing and demolishing 13 homes in flood zones near Pleasant Creek in downtown Greenwood and on a cul-de-sac at the south end of Bomar Avenue.

Now, having received the maximum grant, the Greenwood Redevelopment Commission may become involved as well, as it is considering purchasing a home on Main Street.

The redevelopment commission will consider purchasing a home near Pleasant Creek at 330 E. Main Street. The property is in a cluster of homes near the waterway that are at high risk for flooding.

The redevelopment commission is being asked to fund the purchase of the home because it is bordering Main Street, and buying the property to create a more attractive entrance into downtown Greenwood matches the commission’s goal of spurring economic development in that area, Greenwood Capital Projects Manager Kevin Steinmetz said.

The homes, which are being sold voluntarily by the owners, will be demolished and converted to park space.

The house at 330 E. Main Street is sandwiched between several properties whose owners had volunteered to sell to the city. This is the only home the redevelopment commission is actively considering at the moment, though it could be asked to purchase more, Steinmetz said.

The goal is to create a more attractive entrance into downtown Greenwood, with the area around Pleasant Creek eventually having a similar look to the urban forest in Franklin, he said.

More homeowners have said they might be interested in selling their homes if Greenwood gets another grant. The city is considering applying for more money to purchase homes in the same area near Main Street and Pleasant Creek, Greenwood Stormwater Department Director Chris Jones said.

The goal is that by purchasing the initial homes, the city may get other residents interested in selling their flood-zone properties as well, Jones said.

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Jacob Tellers is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at jtellers@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2702.