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Landslide damage at home at 1010 Zodiac Drive on Thursday, January 28, 2016. Photo by Jerilee Bennett/The Gazette

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The Colorado Springs City Council on Tuesday approved using federal money to buy three southwest Colorado Springs houses deemed among the worst hit by landslides in 2015.

The council’s unanimous decision brings to six the number of houses to be purchased with Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funds through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The money was made available after slow-moving landslides in 2015 severely damaged or demolished dozens of homes in the Lower Skyway and Broadmoor Bluffs neighborhoods.

Each house will be demolished, and the land will be left as open space. But before the properties are bought, they had to be analyzed for hazardous materials and appraised. Now bids for demolition are being sought by the city.

Fourteen more houses remain on a list of properties that still could be purchased using money from the fund, said Gordon Brenner, the city’s recovery coordinator.

The purchases approved Tuesday were for houses at 1004 Zodiac Drive, 1010 Zodiac Drive and 1200 Constellation Drive. Previously, the city approved purchases of houses at 4860, 4880 and 4890 Broadmoor Bluffs Drive.

Brenner gave no timetable for buying the other houses and declined to release their addresses, citing privacy concerns if those homeowners back out.

In other action, the council placed a question on the April 2 municipal ballot asking whether firefighters can receive collective bargaining status. The council was required to green-light the ballot question after Professional Firefighters Association, IAFF Local 5, gathered enough signatures to petition onto the ballot.

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