Usually, at the annual retreat of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, the board explores general ideas such as the long-term goals of Guilford County government.
However, on Friday, Feb. 3, on the second day of the two-day retreat, the board did something very specific – voted to demolish two houses in northeast Guilford County and dedicate that property to being open space in perpetuity.
The two houses – at 6100 and 6102 Bellflower Road, north of Gibsonville, off NC 61 – have proven to be so flood prone over the years that they’ve been deemed by the county as a safety hazard. The houses are very close to Reedy Fork Creek and therefore they face the threat of flooding every time it rains hard for an extended period of time.
The good news is that the $275,185 needed to buy the houses and demolish them will come from the federal government rather than from county funds.
After Hurricane Florence pounded North Carolina and other states in 2018, the federal government made funds available, as part of a hazard mitigation program, that allow this type of remedy for properties subject to constant flooding.
After the houses are destroyed and removed, the remaining land will be set aside for open space and floodplain mitigation, and there will be an ongoing requirement that, no matter what the future use of the property, no habitable structures will be built on it.
Currently, one property owner has found new living arrangements while the other owner is still looking.
The process of finding demolition services for the county will be handled by North Carolina Emergency Management.
Guilford County already owns one piece of property on Bellflower Road in order to create distance between the creek and habitable housing areas.
Why is it the taxpayer’s responsibility to pay a casualty loss on private property?
Once purchased, why not donate the homes to the fire department for training then only have ash to remove?