The Post Office delivered a genuine letter for ol’ MAC this week, complete with a stamp and everything . . . well, everything except a return address and a signature. Sigh. I’m not sure I understand why people aren’t willing to stand up and ask straight questions. Hopefully that’ll change for the better someday.
But hopes aside, here’s the text from the letter.

Dear MAC,
So what is the scoop on the homes about to slide off the bank into Sugar Creek (Sugar Cliff Addition and Wayne Avenue)? Are the homes going to be removed? Who is going to pay for this and what will become of the abandoned lots? Is the home owner at a total loss?
Don’t leave me hanging!
Sincerely,
Slippery Slope!

Dear Slip,
Oh my! I sure do hope one of those homes are not yours! In order to get you the best and most complete answer I could, we turned to Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton. Here’s what he told us.
“The neighborhoods along Wayne Avenue and Sugar Cliff have been endangered by high bank erosion along Sugar Creek for many years.  The process has accelerated in recent years and much effort has been put into understanding the problem and identifying solutions. 
The City of Crawfordsville is pursuing a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to purchase properties identified in the 2019 “Sugar Creek Channel Stability and Flood Risk Assessment Study”.  This study identified 17 properties at risk along Sugar Creek and is available at https://www.crawfordsville.net/egov/documents/1560355093_06724.pdf. 
If funded, the proposed purchase of these properties will be completed under a voluntary acquisition agreement only.  The city has hired Christopher B Burke Engineering to conduct additional analysis and assist with the grant application.  Based on the findings of this additional analysis and advice from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS), the city plans to approach the project in three phases. 
Phase One Voluntary Acquisition Grant Application 704 Wayne Ave
700 Wayne Ave
Wayne Ave Vacant Parcel
512 Wayne Ave
515 Wayne Ave
Phase Two Voluntary Acquisition Grant Application:
508 Wayne Ave
619 Wayne Ave
69 N Sugar Cliff Dr
79 N Sugar Cliff Dr
Phase Three Voluntary Acquisition Grant Application:
708 Wayne Ave
706 Wayne Ave
506 Wayne Ave
703 Wayne Ave
511 Wayne Ave
63 N Sugar Cliff Dr
89 N Sugar Cliff Dr
93 N Sugar Cliff Dr
The voluntary acquisition process will take some time, and the city appreciates your patience and support through this process.  The city submitted the grant application for phase one properties via Indiana Department of Homeland Security in November of 2020 and should hear from FEMA in June 2021 if the grant application has been approved.  If awarded, it is estimated that funds will be available in December 2021 and appraisals and offers to purchase would begin in January 2022. 
Following the successful acquisition of phase one properties, the city plans to continue with voluntary acquisition grant applications for phase two and phase three properties.” 
Many thanks to Mayor Barton for the quick and complete answer. Slip, if you’d like to say thanks to the good mayor, you can reach him at City Hall. In the meantime, thanks for sending in your question. I sure appreciate it, and I’m betting the Post Office did as well.
Remember, if you have a burning question you need answered let Ask MAC know because MAC gets answers!

If you have a question for MAC (the Montgomery Answer Connection), just e-mail it to askmac@thepaper24-7.com, or go to www.thepaper24-7.com and click on the Ask MAC icon. Got a question? MAC can get the answer!