Chronicle Covers Flood Buyout Factors. Sorta.

[Update 10/27: Somebody sent me an anonymous note — why anonymous? How odd for something like this — pointing out that some of these streets the mayor mentioned are in fact on the long range plan for property acquisition and suggesting I study the facts before blogging. Well, I did and I stand by my story. However, I will offer a clarification. There are targeted GEOGRAPHIC AREAS and targeted HOMES. Of the targeted HOMES on the list, as in those 10 individual residences that have already been identified, assessed and prioritized, NONE lies on Sunnymeade, Tilton Park, Joanne or John St. These streets with no currently targeted HOMES are also on the list for infrastructure improvements along with Dodge Addition. Thank you, Dear Reader, for your assistance in clearing up any remaining confusion.]


DeKALB – The amount of rainwater that fills a home is not the only factor when determining a government buyout of properties affected by flooding.

The value of damages and cost of repairs isn’t the only measure, either.

Rather, a number of factors make the case – and they can be easily or not-so-easily computed by the local government. Acting as an applicant for federal funds, that government must identify, prioritize and submit to state and federal authorities, hoping that the selections made are the right ones – the ones that will result in funding assistance.

Egg-zactly. And, let me tell you, trying to trace the factors isn’t easy. This past week I sifted through three inches of paper and brought some of it home to study further because city government lost its privilege to be taken at face value in not disclosing the buyout of a city employee’s home. For that matter, so did the Chronicle. As far as I’m concerned, the article is a government act of damage control enabled by stenographers posing as a newspaper.

At the very least, the Chronicle should have asked about and explained this:

Other areas targeted for acquisition are homes on Fairmont Drive, Sunnymeade Trail, Clifford Drive, Tilton Park Drive, Joanne Lane and John Street, according to the task force plan.

Of the homes identified for acquisition, about a dozen in all, all homeowners are willing sellers, Povlsen said.

The targeted homes are on Clifford, Colby, Dawn, David, Fairmont and Taylor. Nowhere in the materials I’ve pored over is there mention of streets in the mayor’s neighborhood being considered. I know the Chronicle never submits FOIA requests, but the same reporter wrote both stories and you’d think she’d at least want to reconcile the two versions.