LEMMON VALLEY, Nev. (KOLO) - “It's mine, it was ours. We were comfortable here,” says Lemmon Valley resident Tracy Hall of her home.
Hall shows us her home on Pompei Drive. A resident of the valley all her life, she says she called the county in January about the rising waters of Swan Lake just east of her home. She says she was told there was nothing that could be done.
Two months later, county, state and federal workers descended on the area to respond to the disaster, and Tracy was forced from her home March 9.
“Yeah, it was ours; we were comfortable here. We loved our neighbors, you know it is quiet out here. This is just where we want to be,” says Hall.
Hall says the county has put her and her family up at a nearby apartment. She visits the property about three times a week to keep tabs. But the subsidy will not last forever; that's why her husband sold a vintage car to buy an RV to live in on the property, should it come to that.
Word that the county, with the help of FEMA, could buy her out gives her mixed emotions.
“It is an option, and it is more than what we had two weeks ago. However, we are concerned that we aren't going to get what we deserve. We didn't have a mortgage, we don't want a mortgage. We don't want to start over at this point in our life,” says Hall.
“We want to come out and give them information so that they can make those decisions. And if they choose to start the process, and at some point they say hey, I don't want to do this anymore, that is fine too. So we are really there for the residents to help them through this process. We will be the applicant, but we are acting on their behalf,” says Duane Smith, Washoe County Engineering Director.
If residents decide to opt for the buyout, the land left behind will be left open space and cannot be developed or sold by the county. The deals mean the county will have to come up with 25% of the buyout price.
Staff is looking into the possibility or re-locating residents involved in the buyout to county land where properties can be built.
Other decisions made by county commissioners:
Pumps will be left in the valley to protect streets and properties from flood waters should they rise in the months to come.
Also the Hesco wall along Lemmon Valley Drive, which was opened once flood waters receded in mid-summer, could be put back into place, closing the drive, if flood waters threaten homes and streets in the area.