RED LODGE — The Rocky Fork Inn at 718 Broadway Ave. S. in Red Lodge sat mainly untouched for nearly one year after floodwaters ripped through the property, leaving it destroyed and filled with debris.
Courtney Long is Red Lodge's planning director and the driving force behind the project for the bed & breakfast. She said the city has applied for a hazard mitigation grant through FEMA and plans to purchase the property from the owners and tear it down.
“There are grant opportunities and options for those property owners, and so we wanted to talk to the Bastians (the owners of the inn) to just give them more of an idea of what an option would be for them,” Long said on Thursday. “They lived there; they were there the night of the flood. So there’s been a lot of emotions through the process, too.”
Long said she has not been approved for the grant yet and doesn't have a timeline for when the project could start. One thing that is official, if everything works out: The city would have to turn it into an open space.
“A part of that program is that it would be deed restricted and would have to be turned into open space. So a green space, a park,” she said.
The grant is a 75/25 grant, so 75% of the project would be covered by FEMA and the remaining 25% would be covered by the city.
The property's appraisal before floodwaters destroyed the home and business was $1.7 million.
“That is not the final agreed-upon price, but that was the appraisal value," Long said. "So we want to make sure they get a fair price for that property that’s been in their family for decades. So we want to, again, make sure that they’re comfortable throughout the whole process.”