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Federal funds will be used to purchase home, demolish it

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY — Prince William County will use federal grant money to purchase a home in a flood plain and demolish it.

The one-story, three bedroom home at 7803 Lake Drive near Manassas was built in 1969 on the bank of the Bull Run River. It is often inundated with flood waters during periods of moderate rains, according to county documents.

The county will purchase the 1.16 acres of land with $245,950 from a Federal Flood Mitigation Assistance Program grant. The sale is expected to close in mid-September, and the home and all other structures on the property will be demolished within six weeks after closing, county documents state.

The property is valued at $232,100, according to the Prince William County property assesor. The county will purchase the property for $200,600, and give any remaining funds from the federal grant to the property owners after demolition is complete.

A call to the property owners was not immediately returned.

After the home is demolished, the federal government limits the types of uses for the land to open space or public park land. The limitations on the types of buildings state that only a public restroom or pavilion that is open on all four sides may be rebuilt on the property.

The Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue will administer the grant. The county’s public works department will oversee the demolition of the property.

County officials applied for the federal grant from FEMA in August 2015. The grant was awarded in May of last year, $50,000 short of what the county had requested.

“The property has flooded at least 14 documented incidents of high water and flooding over the past 18 years, including one flood event costing over $95,000 in damages in 2008, and another flood event costing over $25,000 in damages in 2014,” stated Prince William County Fire and Rescue Department Asst. Chief Matt Smolksy. 

As the sale of the property is ready to go to closing, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors directed the county government proceed with the sale today at its regularly scheduled meeting.

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