Sen. Belt

EAST ST. LOUIS – With the support of State Senator Christopher Belt, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources will provide nearly $2.6 million to the City of East St. Louis to buy out 39 properties that have experienced repeated flooding and flood damage.

“Flooding has been a persistent and devastating issue for many families in East St. Louis,” said Belt (D-Swansea). “The support of IDNR will provide a lifeline for residents who have faced repeated losses and help ensure their safety and well-being moving forward. I commend IDNR for recognizing the urgent need for this intervention and allocating the necessary resources to address it.”

The funding — through IDNR’s Flood Hazard Mitigation Program — will be used to reimburse the city for approved costs associated with acquiring homes on 39 lots, plus one vacant lot. This project includes up to $22,500 in additional funds to assist homeowners who resided in the flooded structures in purchasing a home.

After the properties are purchased and demolished, deed restrictions will be placed on them to prohibit new structures from being built in the same locations. After demolition, the plans are for the land to become public green space.

“This will be the end of a long-awaited process and a new beginning for residents impacted by the flooding,” said Robert Betts, East St. Louis city manager. “My goal now is to retain them as residents of East St. Louis by providing new housing opportunities that are not prone to flooding.”