CONWAY CONSIDERS VOLUNTARY TRANSVALE ACRES BUYOUT PLAN

by Christian Mower on January 31, 2012

AFTER RELOCATING DOZENS OF RENTERS FROM TRANSVALE ACRES – THE PRIVATE NEIGHBORHOOD OFF WEST SIDE ROAD IN CONWAY NEW HAMPSHIRE GOV. JOHN LYNCH SAID SUFFERED “THE WORST” DAMAGE HE HAD SEEN IN THE STATE AFTER AUGUST’S TROPICAL STORM IRENE – CONWAY TOWN LEADERS ARE NOW ASKING PERMANENT RESIDENTS OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD TO CONSIDER A VOLUNTARY FEDERAL BUYOUT PROGRAM FOR THEIR PROPERTY.

CONWAY TOWN MANAGER EARL SIRES AND CONWAY FIRE CHIEF STEVE SOLOMON – WHO IS ALSO CONWAY’S EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DIRECTOR – HOSTED A MEETING AT THE CONWAY FIRE STATION THURSDAY AFTERNOON WHERE TRANSVALE RESIDENTS WERE BRIEFED BY LANCE HARBOUR, A NEW HAMPSHIRE HAZARD MITIGATION OFFICER,ON THE FEDERAL BUYOUT PROGRAM – THAT’S ADMINISTERED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY’S FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY.

CONWAY SELECTMAN DAVID WEATHERS ALSO ATTENDED THE BRIEFING – AS DID REPRESENTATIVES OF ELECTED OFFICIALS WHO HAVE CONSTITUENTS IN THE VALLEY AREA.

THE FEMA MITIGATION PROGRAM STATEWIDE GETS 15 PERCENT OF THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF PUBLIC ASSISTANCE MONEY GRANTED AFTER THE PRESIDENT DECLARES AN EMERGENCY FOLLOWING A CATASTROPHIC EVENT LIKE TROPICAL STORM IRENE.

SOLOMON EXPLAINS THE FEMA PROGRAM WOULD ONLY APPLY TO ABOUT 24 PERMANENT RESIDENCES OUT OF 167 DEVELOPED PROPERTIES IN TRANSVALE ACRES. THE PLAN WOULD NOT APPLY TO SEASONAL PROPERTIES.

CONWAY WILL HAVE TO DEVELOP AN OVERALL PLAN FOR THE PROGRAM AND SUBMIT IT TO THE STATE FOR CONSIDERATION ON ITS OWN MERITS – AND TO COMPETE WITH REQUESTS FROM OTHER TOWNS AND CITIES.

TO GET THE PROCESS MOVING, CONWAY WILL CONDUCT A SURVEY FOR EACH PARTICIPATING HOMEOWNER TO GATHER INFORMATION FOR AN ELEVATION CERTIFICATE – A MEASUREMENT TO DETERMINE WHERE THE FLOODING LEVEL IS THAT’S USED IN A COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS OF THE MITIGATION PLAN.

SIRES SAYS ABOUT A DOZEN HOMEOWNERS WHO OWN A TOTAL OF 18 PROPERTIES IN TRANSVALE ACRES SIGNED UP FOR THE PROGRAM THURSDAY. HE HOPES TO START THE SURVEY PROCESS IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS.