Ordinance seeks to help with flood insurance

By Elise Roberts - bio | email

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - Bay St. Louis leaders are fine tuning the details of a flood insurance ordinance.

City leaders hope the new flood damage prevention ordinance will help residents and business owners continue qualifying for the FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program.

FEMA leaders attended the meeting, encouraging city leaders to take more stringent methods.

It's a matter of rules versus recommendations. FEMA outlines its rules in big, bold, black print. Its recommendations are in red and they can be changed and that's what Bay St. Louis are working on in the new ordinance.

In the first draft of the flood damage prevention ordinance, city leaders considered requiring what's called free boards which would enforce people to build higher than the base flood elevation.

But residents didn't like that idea, so the citychanged the ordinance.

"The council will NOT require any additional freeboards to the base flood elevation," said building official Ron Jones.

Council leaders and city administration also came up with more restrictive requirements when it comes to recreational vehicles.The original ordinance gave RVs a maximum of 180 days of being parked on any city property.

Changes limit RVs to 60 days in Bay St. Louis. Leaders say it will keep the vehicles transient and ready to evacuate in case of a storm.

With changes in place, the city plans to adopt the ordinance in hopes keeping and possibly lowering flood insurance in the Bay.

Building officials will present the final draft to council later this week. The Bay St. Louis Council is expected to vote on the flood damage prevention ordinance at next Tuesday's council meeting.

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