The Town of Middleburgh has turned another page in its recovery from Hurricane Irene.
The town is the first in the county to have completed the FEMA buyouts and removed the flood-damaged homes.
The town has just finished taking down the last of the seven buildings involved in the buyouts.
Buildings were taken down on the Waldron property on Clauverwie Road, the Turtle Rock, the Towne property and the former Valley Bible Church on Route 30. There were four buildings on the church property, according to highway Superintendent Dale Nunamann.
The town board took the lead in getting the paperwork and all the inspections completed, Mr. Nunamann noted.
The town, through the work of Mr. Nunamann and retired highway Superintendent Kenny Parkes, did the work without any outside contractors.
"The reasons we did it ourselves, Mr. Nunamann added, was that we were able to save and put a significant amount of money back in the budget."
He noted that the concrete from the former structures was allowed to be buried into the foundation and the septic tanks were filled. The locations were graded and then covered up with top soil and hydroseeded by the Soil and Water Conservation District.
Most of the building debris had to be sent to Painted Post for disposal.
There were no problems except for the delays because of rain, he added.
The area of the former church is expected to be made into greenspace or a park while the former Turtle Rock location will become a park and ride. The other locations may be leased for farming or gardening. Under FEMA regulations, no permanent structure can be built on the properties.
The removals of the buildings, Mr. Nunamann said, are another important step in the recovery from the flood.
"It was closing a chapter to the flood," he noted. "Every time you drove by, it was a reminder."
He did note that taking down the buildings brought back a lot of memories for many people, including the former owners.
There are four buyouts to be completed in the village, two on Scribner Avenue and two on Baker Avenue.