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Conway City Council discusses possible FEMA flood zone buyouts, horse-drawn carriages

Conway City Council discusses possible FEMA flood zone buyouts, horse-drawn carriages (WPDE)

On Monday, the Conway City Council held a meeting to address a number of topics, ranging from possible FEMA flood zone buyouts to the allowance of horse-drawn carriage rides in downtown.

Perhaps the most weighty item on the agenda was consideration of a proposed FEMA grant pre-application for a buyout program for properties in flood prone areas.

According to Conway officials, Conway residents who live in flood prone areas of Conway could have a way out of their homes.

Under a particular program, eligible residents could have the option of a FEMA buyout that would allow them to get out of properties in high risk flood areas without taking a complete monetary loss.

Officials say the program likely would help some homeowners avoid repeated flood issues and costs.

"As a city, through the work of our consultant, who is being paid by the city, [it's] a very good possibility that some of the money will come into that and will be ready for distribution to those home owners," said Conway Mayor Barbara Blain Bellamy.

Blain Bellamy says the homeowners probably won't get the full value of their homes under the possible grant, but they would get 100 percent of the money given by FEMA.

Conway is also moving one step closer to having horse-drawn carriages in the historic downtown area.

On Monday, Council voted on the second reading of a proposal to bring the graceful giants to the local streets.

Officials say, if approved, the horse-drawn carriages could be allowed for special events, such as weddings and similar celebrations.

This would all be a part of a possible amendment to the Southern Enchantment Carriages Franchise Agreement for carriage services in the area.

Residents can weigh in on the idea at the next meeting on April 3, 2017.

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