Proactive code department nets insurance savings 9/11/2015

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 11, 2015

Proactive code department nets insurance savings

By John Howell
Panola County residents required to purchase flood insurance realize a 10 percent premium savings because of the County Code Enforcement office’s voluntary participation in the Community Rating System (CRS).

 “Right now we’re currently at a Class Eight rating; it started at a Class 10. This provides 10 percent flood insurance premium reductions,”  County Flood Plain Manager and Code Enforcement Officer Chad Meek told supervisors during their First Monday meeting, held Tuesday in Sardis due to the Labor Day holiday.

Further reductions sought
“We participated in some extra credit activities this year in hopes of moving to a Class Six or Class Seven in 2016 which will give us a  15 to 20 percent insurance premium reduction,” Meek told county officials.
Meek asked for and received the board’s unanimous approval for recertification in the county’s participation in the CRS program.

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In an interview after the meeting, Meek said steps taken for the extra credit include submitting corrected elevations to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), maintaining a Flood Plain Log that documents inquiries and contacts to his office, public outreach and outreach to financial institutions and lending agencies explaining flood zones and the permits required before building.

Meek said that 66 property owners in Panola County pay for $7.7 million in Flood Insurance coverage.

Hazard Mitigation
Supervisors reappointed Emergency Management Director Daniel Cole as the county’s Hazard Mitigation Manager as a step in the county’s compliance with a FEMA requirement that counties and municipalities prepare a Hazard Mitigation Plan.

North Delta Planning and Development District has formerly prepared the plan at no cost to the county.
“This year, they’re going to require a 10 percent local match,” Cole said.

The EMA director said that the cost would require between $2,500 and $3,000 as a match from the county to cover the ten percent.

Towns covered
“If y’all will allow it — I have the money in my budget — we could just pay for all the small towns and everything,” Cole said. “That way Pope, Courtland Crenshaw, Como, Sardis, Batesville — it won’t cost them any additional funds … It’s hard to go and ask somebody something when you can’t tell them an exact price. I would just like to cover this cost of my budget if you would allow it.”
Supervisors unanimously approved Cole’s request.

In other county business Tuesday:

• Supervisors agreed to loan the Longtown Fire Dept. $34,935 to pay for turnout gear and other equipment. The amount will be reimbursed to the fire department from a grant with which it will reimburse the county;

• Supervisors also agreed to remove debris from the site of a burned-out house in Crenshaw;

• Como’s request for a truck load of “cold mix” for street repair was unanimously approved;

• County crews and equipment will be used to remove a mix of asphalt and dirt from a residence on Roberson Drive in Como that will be used for “rip-rap” to stabilize creek banks. Board attorney Bill McKenzie told Road Manager Lygunnah Bean that before work begins, the county would need a signed letter from the property owner requesting the removal;

• Supervisors also heard a report from Road Manager Bean about roads scheduled for resurfacing during the remainder of the paving season, including Mitchell Road, Viney Creek Road, Landfill Road and Green Briar Circle.

“We’re rolling pretty good,” he said.