Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) changes in Franklin County floodplain maps could bring both good and bad news to Madison Township residents living in affected areas.
County representatives Lee Brown and Matt Brown briefed the Madison Township trustees on upcoming changes during a Sept. 19 meeting and said, while some properties will be coming out of the floodplain, others will be pulled in according to new maps.
"We will be doing a postcard mailing to residents affected by the change," said Lee Brown. "We’ve identified parcels coming in and out of the floodplain. Several parcels that are in the floodplain are farm fields. One of the main areas we targeted was Blacklick Estates. This (mapping change) does not go into effect until May 2008."
County GIS data, in addition to aerial surveys, was used to determine approximately 1,900 properties in the Madison Township floodplain and boundaries were revised to reflect new topographical information. Although floodplain levels have not changed, Matt Brown said boundaries were re-aligned because of more accurate information.
"This is nothing the township or county did," Matt Brown pointed out. "The changes were made by FEMA."
Of the nearly 2,000 properties included in the floodplain, roughly 1,200 have structures in areas identified as prone to flooding, which could require additional insurance not normally covered in homeowner policies. According to Matt Brown, the average annual cost for flood insurance is $600 and if a mortgaged house is in the floodplain, owners are required by the federal government to carry flood insurance.
"This will drastically affect people’s lives," said Trustee Dennis White. "This is all untreaded water for us."
Trustee Susan Brobst added, "On the other hand, people who have flood insurance and then their status changes are going to save money."
Organizers hope to mail information to property owners and schedule an informational meeting at the Madison Township Community Center within four to six weeks.
Other Madison Township news
•Road Superintendent Terry Spangler reported on the temporary closing of Gerling Boulevard due to the renovation of a neighboring bridge by the Ohio Department of Transportation.
•The trustees approved a $1,000 donation to Canal Winchester’s Old Town Committee for the preservation of the village’s historic Interurban Station.
•The trustees’ November meeting will be on Nov. 28.
•A three-year contract with AT&T to reconfigure the township’s phone service will save all departments a combined annual total of $22,000.
•Township Administrator Wayne Warner was given authorization to seek financial assistance from the Ohio Public Works Commission for capital improvement projects.