Blue Acres closes on New Church Street property

The Department of Environmental Protection announced the first acquisition of a New Church Street home as part of the state’s Blue Acres program.

A press release issued on Friday touted the DEP’s efforts to make flood-prone towns more resilient from future flooding. The announcement indicated that the state closed on the property at 1453 New Church St. but did not cite the sales price.

The home was purchased in July 2001 for $142,500, according to property records. The current tax assessment is $135,200, yielding a property tax bill of about $8,541.

The home has experienced “devastating floods” three times in the 15 years that the current owners have lived there, according to the release. The worst was when Hurricane Irene in August 2011 “deluged the basement with almost 10 feet of water in 2011 and destroyed it.”

Last October, City Council approved a memorandum of understanding with the DEP to accept applications for properties to be acquired by the state through negotiations with property owners. Most of the dozen or so properties along New Church Street were identified in the MOU, among some 30 properties citywide. Once properties are acquired and vacated, the state will contract to demolish the homes and the city will assume maintenance of the properties.

Buyout funding is provided by the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HGMP); the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program; the Blue Acres fund and the State Land Acquisition (Urban) fund. The DEP will continue to submit buyout applications to the federal government for additional properties on a rolling basis.

In the three years since the Blue Acres Buyout Program was launched, Blue Acres has secured funding to purchase 846 properties in 14 towns with buyouts under way in eight counties. Of 763 offers extended, 587 have been accepted. Closings have been completed on 470 properties, and 346 have been demolished.

Homeowners interested in selling their homes or who have questions about the buyout program may call the DEP’s Blue Acres Buyout Program at 609-984-0500.

One thought on “Blue Acres closes on New Church Street property”

  1. What about the Hamilton theatre. That’s in the flood plain. At least dig up the parking lot and make a retention basin.

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