- Associated Press - Friday, December 4, 2015

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Mason City official says the buyout process of properties ruined in a 2008 flood proved to be filled with difficulties.

The Globe Gazette (http://bit.ly/1PEYkb6 ) reports a rainstorm flooded the city on June 8, 2008, displacing hundreds of residents. More than 200 restaurants and food-related businesses were closed after water flooded the city’s water treatment plant.

City Planner Tricia Sandahl worked with staff members to arrange the buyouts and help property owners relocate. The process included determining which properties qualified, locating the property owners who had vacated their homes, having them fill out the proper forms and getting those forms to the right government agencies.

Sandahl said funding contracts sent to Des Moines were accidentally thrown away, but officials managed to redo the contracts and have them sent to Des Moines an hour before the deadline.

The buyout involved the purchase of nearly 170 properties deemed uninhabitable.

The city planner says she told officials when the process began that it would take some time for it to be completed.

“I told city officials at the time, it would take at least five years. We still have a couple of bills to pay. We also need to close out some projects,” said Sandahl.

She says that the buyout process is nearly complete.

City Administrator Brent Trout said Sandahl has the skills to get the job done.

“Her knowledge and her relationships with state staff have been instrumental in arriving at this point,” he said. “More importantly, though, has been her desire to help people affected by the loss of their homes in any way possible. That has been the motivation behind her efforts over the last seven years.”

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Information from: Globe Gazette, http://www.globegazette.com/

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