Relocate or Elevate


Will the government "force" as many as 10 Geneva County families to move?

That's a real possibility unless they follow federal guidelines regarding flood zones.

Fifteen years ago, Tom Miller built Simmons Creek Subdivision along the banks of the Choctawhatchee River, just outside the city limits of Geneva. Due to three floods during the 1990s, the Federal Emergency Management Agency ordered a number of subdivision homeowners to relocate or elevate their residences. But recently, the elevation bids ranged from $13,000 to $25,000 per household -- a lot higher than anticipated.

Homeowners are required to come up with a 25 percent cash match. FEMA said they either elevate or risk being fined and possibly jailed.

Geneva County Emergency Management Director Margaret Mixon is stuck with the job of enforcing FEMA regulations.

It's estimated that the county has received about $10 million from FEMA over the past eight years in repairing flood damage.

At this time, Simmons Creek homeowners that are affected are being asked to fill out the proper paperwork so the elevation bids can be re-submitted.