Matanuska River erosion prompts buyout of 15 properties
More than a dozen Mat-Su Borough homeowners whose residences are threatened by the Matanuska River are receiving government funds to buy out their homes.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency will award $4.46 million in funds from a hazard mitigation grant requested by the borough later this month, according to a Thursday statement from the borough.
The grants will purchase 15 properties “at severe risk for erosion” from the river, including 10 in Butte along Mile 13 to Mile 17 of the Old Glenn Highway, as well as five more in Sutton from Mile 63.5 to Mile 65 of the Glenn Highway. Funding for the grants is 75 percent federal and 25 percent state.
“The state match is not always granted in other states,” said Mat-Su Borough floodplain administrator Taunnie Boothby, the grant’s project manager. “We’re fortunate the state of Alaska pays the cost share.”
Under the voluntary buyout, which has been agreed to by all of the property owners, the borough will classify the land as “open space in perpetuity” and prevent any new construction.
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