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Published September 20 2011

Clay County buyout offers stand, despite resident protest

MOORHEAD – After more than 90 minutes of heated discussion and no amicable resolution, Crestwood residents remain unsatisfied with Clay County’s offer to buy out their homes because of flood damage.

Several residents voiced their frustrations to county commissioners this morning, but leaders stood by the original offers presented last week to the 17 property owners in the Crestwood neighborhood south of Moorhead.

Under the terms, residents would receive 87.5 percent of the highest market value the property had between 2009 and 2011.

Officials contend the voluntary offers are reasonable because buying out the properties won’t give additional protection or benefit to others in the county – unlike buyout programs in Moorhead and Oakport Township.

Residents still argued they shouldn’t be treated differently, calling the county’s low offer “hard to fathom in comparison” to other residents in the metro area who were paid on average at least 108 percent of property values.

A state grant will give Clay County $5 million this year toward its buyout program, but the county must match $1 million of that while already facing a strained budget situation.

For more on this story, read Wednesday’s edition of The Forum.