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Seaside residents weigh buy out proposal

February 4, 2013 3:28:53 PM PST
No one would argue that living on the Great South Bay is beautiful.

The big question is, is it worth all this and knowing it could happen again if there's another storm like Sandy?

Most people told us yes.

"You buy a house by the water because you love being on the water," one resident said.

Governor Andrew Cuomo is proposing buying out some people's homes in flood prone areas, tearing them down and creating protected dunes, wetlands or public parks.

Some of the money would come from the 51-billion dollar disaster relief package already approved by Congress.

Homeowners would get the pre-storm full market value for their homes.

"Of course, I would think about taking the money, but it would depend what fair market value is, especially in this economy. I don't know what fair market value is now. It went up a lot in price since I bought it, and then it came down and now it's rock bottom, so I'm not exactly sure what I would do at this point," Joe Verrengia said.

Other people say absolutely not.

Chris Schaefer says he bought his house in Lindenhurst 15 years ago so he could be close to the water and dock his boat right out his front door.

"This house will go to my son. It's just too unique and that's our access to the world right there," he said.

The other option under the plan is for homeowners to have the federal government pay to build their homes up on columns like these people are doing right here.

"I think everybody around here would be interested in that. You can see a lot of houses are already doing it out of their own pocket because no one's getting any money," Rob Bontempi said.

In areas of extreme flooding risk, homeowners would be offered extra money to take the buyout and bonuses if the entire block agreed to sell.

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