LAKE CITY, Fla. -- After Tropical Storm Debby parts of Lake City were under water; in the hard hit Callaway subdivision, Columbia County has put up a roadblock to their rebuilding.
"We can't get contractors to come in," said Michele Parish.
Roger and Michele Parish home was not a welcome sight after TS Debby,theirs is one of ten homes in the neighborhood that was flooded by waist high water.
"The retention pond did not stop the water," said Parish.
The Parish family began demolition but when they tried to pull a rebuilding permit they did not. Columbia county has a new requirement for victims of the flooded areas, they have to sign a release for that waives Columbia County of any liability.
"I expected help not one hurdle after another," she said.
If they refuse to sign the release and rebuild, Roger Parish said they are subject to fines. This new requirement has left him frustrated.
"I don't need to be held up," said Parish, "this is our home and my family needs to get back in our home."
County Attorney Marlin Feagle said the county commission approved the 'release' waiver to protect the county and property owners.
"Debby exceeded the 2009 FEMA flood maps so we want to put the homeowners on notice if you want to build or rebuild it is fine with the county," said Feagle, "but don't come back to the county, if there's another Debby, and say county why did you let me do that?"
Feagle said there have been individuals who have threatened to sue the county before and this the release protects the county and the homeowner.
"We'll take it back to the county commission and see if they want to make change to this form," said Feagle.
The Parish like their neighbors want the company to drop the 'release' requirement for a building permit.
"We've been sitting here three weeks in a holding pattern," said Parish.
They hope to address it at the next county commission meeting and have it resolved quickly so they can get back into their home.
First Coast News