Federal Emergency Management Agency

Region V


Chicago, IL August 21, 1997 - The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced today that it has awarded the City of Aurora a $1,369,980 grant to purchase 29 homes and six vacant lots located in the floodplain. The voluntary buyout program is part of a FEMA, State of Illinois Emergency Management Agency, City of Aurora and homeowner effort to purchase structures and land in an area southeast of Aurora around the Mastadon Lake that has experienced repetitive flooding.

FEMA's grant is 75% of the project's cost. The funds are being provided through the agency's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. The $456,922 remaining cost of the project will be paid by the City of Aurora. The federal funds were made available under the disaster declarations issued by President Clinton last July for flooding which occurred in 11 Illinois counties. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency administers the mitigation program.

The project is part of FEMA's ongoing effort to assist local governments to acquire at pre-disaster, fair-market value, flood-prone properties and end the historic cycle of repeated destruction. By participating in a mitigation project, the city agrees to keep the land clear of structures which could be threatened by future flooding. The area being acquired may be used as a park.

"Accomplishing these kinds of preventive projects requires cooperation between homeowners who participate voluntarily and many levels of city, state and federal governments," explains Michelle M. Burkett, FEMA Region V director.

"Our goal is to eliminate the potential for future flood damage and prevent the kind of human suffering we witnessed during the flood of July of 1996," said FEMA Director James Lee Witt.

Updated: August 22, 1997