Long Beach homeowners may see cheaper insurance soon - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Long Beach homeowners may see cheaper insurance soon


By Danielle Thomas – bio | email

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - Long Beach homeowners may be enjoying cheaper insurance rates in the future. City leaders say they're optimistic about lowering the fire rating because of new infrastructure and a pair fire stations now under construction.

Officials say the station in the industrial park will be move-in ready in the next few weeks. Another station, just off Jeff Davis Avenue, should be open around the end of the year.

Deep into the construction phase, Long Beach Fire Chief George Bass can now start to see the new Station Two start to take shape on Second Street. Bass said with back up water and sewer systems during hurricanes, firefighters could operate in this building for days using generator power.

"It's rated at 200 miles an hour wind rating capacity. The apparatus stalls are rated at 180 miles per hour," said Chief Bass. "We can leave people down here, leave our firefighters down here, have ambulance crews down here."

Chief Bass said when Station Two opens it will lower response time south of the tracks. Plans also include moving the ladder truck to downtown. The city is counting on getting its six fire rating down to a five.

"All the water lines have been brought up to new standards. We have new hydrants south of the tracks," Chief Bass said. "We now have turn off valves with the adequate lines. Before the storm, we had four inch lines. Now we've got eight and twelve inch lines in the entire area south of the CSX tracks. We're looking forward to a rate reduction for insurance costs."

As Long Beach makes over its downtown to lure in new development, Mayor Billy Skellie said stellar fire protection must be part of the package.

"You have to have adequate fire protection to lure businesses, any development, homes, anything," said Mayor Skellie. "They're looking for that whenever they're making an investment. They look at their insurance and the risk, and we're trying to accommodate them. This station for the fire department will be able to handle that growth."

City officials say FEMA paid to replace two fire stations destroyed in Hurricane Katrina and for repairs to Central Fire Station.

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