This is a story we discussed several months ago and now we have received more details about the program

The program allows homeowners that have suffered a sinkhole claim to apply for a grant from the county

The grant amounts can be as much as $3,000

Applications can be submitted starting today, JANUARY 3, 2011, and will be accepted until March 31, 2011

The money is limited so homeowners are encouraged to get their applications in as soon as possible as once the money set aside of this program is gone, no more more grants will be provided

There are several guidelines for acceptance

1) The home must be a single family residence, 2) located in Hillsborough County, 3) with documented sinkhole damage that occurred between January and March 2010

Applicants can pick up an application packet in person through the Hillsborough County Family & Aging Services Department at the Plant City Neighborhood Service Center on?307 N

Michigan Ave

, Suite 2, in Plant City

They can also apply by calling?813-757-3871 ext


Several interesting questions that have not really been answered is how does the County determine the amount of the grant for each individual homeowner? Is it based on the severity of the damage, the value of the home or some other criteria? Also, we can already foresee an issue with homeowners being denied as their damage does not fall within the January to March time period

In other words, if you filed a sinkhole claim n February but it was not tested and confirmed to be a sinkhole until April 1st, does that mean you are precluded from receiving the benefits? The program does of course require homeowners to present their reports confirming sinkhole activity at the property and proof of ownership of the residence

It may not be a perfect program but it is a positive sign and step towards helping some homeowners who could really use all the help they can get

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