City's insurance rating to benefit residents
As a group, Pasadena property owners can expect to save about $200,000 a year in insurance premiums because of the city's attainment in a national flood insurance rating system, officials said.
Donnie Walsh, from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Region VI office in Denton, was at the Pasadena City Council meeting June 15 in recognition of the city's joining the National Flood Insurance Program's Community Rating System.
The city entered the program with a rating of 7," which Walsh said was a remarkable feat.
Normally communities enter as a 10' and they go the first year as a 9,'" she said.
Maybe they'll float around a couple years and receive an 8' level. To come in the very first year at 7' is unusual and to be noted."
With each decrease in class level, property owners in a special flood hazard area" receive an extra 5 percent discount in their flood insurance premiums, Walsh said.
The reductions take effect when a new flood insurance policy is written or an existing policy is renewed.
Sarah Metzger, Pasadena's environmental services manager, said the city is taking extraordinary measures" to protect residents from flooding.
Not only do we have a very progressive drainage improvement program, we also just completed our last buyout program (for properties that have been flooded repeatedly)," Metzger said in a city news release.
The city is sending letters to about 9,000 residents in the special flood hazard boundary" to make sure they know they live in a flood plain and can take appropriate measures, Metzger said.
This is the result of about a five-year effort, but it's not a one-time thing," Metzger said. We intend to keep improving and get a 6' within next few years."
Walsh said Pasadena was verified as a Class 7 community in recognition of its efforts to go beyond minimum flood plane management requirements.
Some steps taken by Pasadena, which Walsh said the rating system certification recognized, include:
Providing flood map information services.
Conducting various outreach projects.
Requiring disclosure of flood hazards.
Preserving open space.
Acquiring and relocating structures from flood hazard areas.
Walsh was accompanied at the City Council meeting by Debbie Cahoon, a Houston-based representative of the Texas Water Development Board's Flood Mitigation Planning Division.
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