Oct 6, 2021 - News

Fourmile Creek area homeowners plead for their properties

Catherine Manhart raises her fist in the air at Monday's Des Moines City Council meeting.

Homeowner Catherine Manhart pleads at Monday’s Des Moines City Council meeting. Video screenshot from the meeting

Multiple homeowners pleaded unsuccessfully with the Des Moines City Council Monday night to spare them from an eminent domain plan.

  • They're among 27 property owners located in a floodplain along Fourmile Creek that has not participated in previous flood buyouts.

Why it matters: There might be a whole lot of us in their shoes in coming years.

  • Extreme weather events are virtually assured for the next three decades due to climate change, Axios' Andrew Freedman and Kia Kokalitcheva write.

State of play: The Lower Fourmile Creek Greenway is part of a long-term city and county plan to remediate frequently flooded areas.

  • It's more than 450 acres and includes land where dozens of homes were previously located.
  • Buyout, demolition and relocation for the remaining owners is estimated at $3.5 million.

What they're saying: Council members promised to work with the residents to assure they are reasonably compensated.

  • Yes, but: They also noted their overriding objective is to protect human life and voted unanimously to proceed with buyouts or eminent domain.
  • "I just want my house. Please, please, please let me stay," Catherine Manhart begged Monday.

What's ahead: Negotiations with residents will begin in the coming months.

  • The process will take about six years to complete.

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