Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Grafton, Valmeyer Get Top Treatment

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Grafton, Valmeyer Get Top Treatment

Article excerpt

Grafton and Valmeyer, two of the Midwest's most flood-ravaged communities, will be among the first to participate in federal buyout and relocation programs, a federal official said Tuesday.

Relocation efforts could begin within 30 days, said Richard Krimm, an associate director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Grafton Mayor Gerald "Windy" Nairn said the announcement comes as a pleasant surprise. Nairn went to Washington last week to lobby for help.

"It's good news. But if that's the case, nobody's told me," Nairn said.

Krimm said FEMA is sending a technical adviser to Grafton today. Nairn had pleaded for help in navigating a thicket of regulations complicating the buyout process.

About 300 of Grafton's 900 residents want to move. The cost of the plan is estimated at more than $20 million.

The Valmeyer plan calls for relocating the community to 500 acres of high ground about a mile east of the flooded town, which had a population of 900. Mayor Dennis Knobloch estimates the cost of that relocation at more than $20 million. …

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