DeKalb County officials are scheduling one-on-one interviews with residents of the Evergreen Village mobile home park. It is the next step to move them out of the flood-prone area.
Evergreen Village resident Kim Doty has lived in her mobile home for 13 years. It's meticulously maintained with green trimmed cupboards. She estimates she's spent more than $10,000 on upgrades. But she's also used to flooding that has caused damage over the years, and it sends her heart racing every time it rains. DeKalb County leaders recently agreed to buy the park which sits on a flood plain. Doty has arranged to live in an apartment in Genoa.
"My roommate is having a harder time than I am about it because she's just more emotional than I am. I am just a more matter-of-fact person. It is what it is and you deal with it," Doty said.
She says she believes residents have been kept in the loop about the re-location process.
"I think it's good that more people are made aware of people living in mobile homes. We are not a bunch of illegals smoking dope or scroungy people. We are just hard-working everyday people that make a living and pay our bills and pay our taxes just like everybody else. It's a home just like my mom and dad [had], like I was raised in."
County Planning Director Paul Miller says officials are sending letters this week with interview times for residents to meet with a consultant to discuss the value of their homes.
"This is really where the real work on this begins as long as it's taken us to get to this point. The county's emphasis remains on trying to get these residents out of harm's way," Miller said.
Miller says residents will not get money for any renovations they made after the 2008 flood.
"We'll be checking out their income, what they are paying in rent currently at Evergreen Village versus what they may pay for in rent at a new place because that's also a subsidy they'll receive. And there are moving expenses. So each person is going to have to be evaluated individually in terms of what they qualify for."
Miller says officials are trying to help residents complete their move before the new school year starts in case students need to get enrolled in a new school.