Floodplain maps may change insurance needs

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 14, 2005

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will be releasing new flood plain maps in March, and though there won't be changes to the plain, some residents may be required to pick up some additional insurance.

That was the message from Joe Black, manager of flood plain administration with the Lawrence Soil and Water Conservation District, who updated the Lawrence County Commission on the situation during its Thursday morning meeting.

When FEMA's maps are released, they won't have any changes to the size or location of the flood plain, which includes only 3 to 5 percent of the county's land but 20 percent of the population.

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Banks however may begin taking a second look at flood plain properties that may have slipped through the cracks when the county adopted flood plain regulations in 1989.

&#8221It won't change, but a lot of people who may have built (in the flood plain) in the early ‘90s whose banks didn't require them to get flood insurance for whatever reason will probably be revisited by their banks, who'll say ‘Hey, you're in, you've got to get flood insurance.'“ Black said. &#8221That's probably going to be a shock to some of these people.“

Commissioner Jason Stephens said that the commission will try to help people become aware and educated about their flood plain status. It is a major issue, he said, considering that only 400 homes in the county currently have flood insurance.

&#8221What we're trying to do is be proactive, and let people know through insurance agents,“ Stephens said. &#8221What will happen is that someone has a loan on their house or their trailer, now when they get these new maps, all these financial institutions are going to go through their loans and say ‘Oh, this person is on the flood plain.'“

Although the flood plain can costs some money and headaches, Black said that it's all for a good cause.

&#8221The purpose of flood plain regulations is not to prevent people from developing on their property, but to help them develop wisely,“ Black said. &#8221We want people to build smart and be aware of what they have to do to comply.“

Also during the meeting, from which commission chair George Patterson was absent, commissioner Doug Malone commended the firefighters of the county for their valiant work fighting the blaze at the Grandview Inn and Suites on Tuesday.

&#8221They did an outstanding job, and you know, your emergency services people, sheriff's office and firefighters put their lives on the line, sometimes daily,“ Malone said. &#8221They're rare people and they deserve a large thank you.“

Also during the meeting, commissioners approved a a $300,000 Community Block Development Grant to assist Rumpke Consolidated Companies Inc., with an $4.7 million economic development project in Hamilton Township.

Rumpke plans to build a solid waste transfer and recycling station.

The Lawrence County Port Authority will purchase 42 acres of land that is located on County Road 1 in Haverhill and construct a 38,000 square-foot building. Bids on the project will be received by Oct. 17 and are expected to be awarded by Oct. 24.

Rumpke of Ohio, will lease 13 acres of the land and the building and purchase machinery and equipment.

The new facility will house the company’s regional sales, maintenance, recycling and transfer facility. The grant will be awarded through the Ohio Small Cities Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Economic Development Program. The CDBG funds will be used to install 1,400 feet of street improvements.

Rumpke would create 30 new jobs during the next three years. Also, 10 jobs would be moved from Ashland, Ky., bringing the company’s local annual payroll to $1.5 million. The jobs would pay wages from $8.50 an hour up to $20 an hour and include benefits.

The proposed plan is to begin construction in the fall and begin operation in summer 2006. Officials estimate the facility would process 25-30 tons of recyclables daily and 750 to 1,000 tons of solid waste each month.