Lebanon Reporter

March 13, 2014

Lebanon accepted into national flood plain program

By Sarah Lang The Lebanon Reporter
Lebanon Reporter

---- — The city of Lebanon has been accepted into the National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating System, saving flood insurance policyholders in the city 10 percent on their premiums.

The 10 percent savings reflects roughly $37,000 back into the pockets of city residents who have flood insurance.

Lebanon Planning and Zoning Director Charlie Campbell presented this information to the Lebanon City Council at Monday’s meeting. Lebanon has around 525 active flood insurance policies, insuring more than $57 million of real estate with policyholders paying more than $370,000 a year for the coverage.“Why I give you these facts is because we should do something about it,” Campbell said, which led to the city’s desire to be a part of the CRS program.

Campbell said the city has been working toward this achievement for the last two years. Campbell, who has also become a certified flood plain manager during the process, led the city in going above and beyond the NFIP’s minimum standards to be a part of the CRS. The most important step the city took, Campbell said, was requiring people who build in the flood plain to build structures two feet above the base flood elevation.“Our whole intent of the program is to try to reduce flood insurance costs for those people out there in the flood plain,” Mayor Huck Lewis said. “I think it could help a lot of people in our community, and it’s a very good program.”The city was presented with a plaque commemorating the achievement last week by Laura Kannaple, with the Department of Natural Resources. Only 19 other communities in the state have reached this level of flood preparedness.

Lebanon has a Class 8 designation in the program. Classes range from 1 to 10, with one being the most involved and offering a 45 percent premium reduction. Because of FEMA regulations, a Class 8 is as high as Lebanon can reach at this time, Campbell said. The only other community in the state to have a higher class is Hamilton County, which is in Class 7.

Campbell will now have to keep a few more records to maintain Lebanon’s participation in the program, he said, and keep the city’s flood ordinance up to date.