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Local agency buys last flood-damaged homes

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Franklin soon will be able to buy and demolish the final four houses damaged in the 2008 flood.

The Franklin Development Corp., a not-for-profit agency created by the city and funded with tax dollars, was able to purchase all four houses at the county tax sale. The group spent $34,502 to purchase tax liens on four homes at 149 W. South St., 467 and 468 Hemphill St. and 149 Pitt St. The four homes will be the last the city demolishes as part of the buyout program. To date, Franklin has purchased and knocked down 62 homes that were damaged by the flood in June 2008 with money from a federal grant.

Next, the city will use money from the federal grant to buy the houses from the Franklin Development Corp. The city has to wait one year before purchasing the homes, under the rules for tax sales.

The four houses had combined overdue taxes of $19,732.80. The city will not be able reimburse the Franklin Development Corp. for about $12,000 when it purchases the homes from the group. The city cannot pay more than $1 for the home at 149 W. South St. under the requirements of the city’s flood buyout grant.

The development corporation also will have to spend an additional $2,000 for legal fees to get a tax deed for each property. The city will not be able to reimburse the agency for that amount.

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