County, village and township officials, along with area residents, were invited to review the proposed new flood map during a meeting and open house last Wednesday at the Office of Public Safety. (Putnam Sentinel/Nancy Kline)
County, village and township officials, along with area residents, were invited to review the proposed new flood map during a meeting and open house last Wednesday at the Office of Public Safety. (Putnam Sentinel/Nancy Kline)

PUTNAM COUNTY — FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) has not updated their flood risk maps for Putnam County since the early 1990s. Last Wednesday FEMA, along with ODNR (Ohio Department of Natural Resources) representatives presented the proposed updated maps to Putnam County officials including village, township and county officials. FEMA and ODNR representatives also met with residents who had questions about the proposed maps.

ODNR representatives said over 3,000 post cards had been sent out to property owners who will be affected by the changes. Future flood insurance costs, changes in the new flood risk map and how residential owners will be affected was on the agenda.

Village, township and county officials gathered at the Office of Public Safety in the afternoon for a Flood Risk Information meeting. The officials were given information on the mapping process and held discussion with the officials about their continued NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) participation.

One of the big topics was not only the new maps, but how new legislation will affect residents living in the high risk flood zone.

Most affected are residents living in “Pre-FIRM” Primary residences in high risk areas. These are residents who living in older buildings constructed before the effective date of the community’s first Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). Up until now those Pre-FIRM buildings had flood insurance policies with subsidized rates. Residents and officials learned that although most subsidies currently remain they could be phased out over time. Non-primary residences (secondary or rental properties), will receive a 25 percent annual increase at policy renewals until premiums reach their full risk rates.

Business buildings under the Pre-FIRM category will also receive future 25 percent annual increases at policy renewal.

FEMA and ODNR representatives said more information about the future NFIP insurance rates is limited.

They indicated that policies will also include an additional $25 surcharge for primary properties and $250 surcharge annual for all other policies. Examples of rates included a property that is:

- one foot above the one-percent-annual chance flood event— $356 annually;

- one foot below the one-percent-annual chance flood event — $2,106 annually;

- 10 feet below the one-percent-annual chance flood event — $17,570 annually.

The elevation of the property includes the crawl space or basement.

Residents learned there will be a 90-day appeal process after the Putnam County proposed new flood maps are put on the federal registry. This appeals allows residents and officials to appeal or comment their rating. Following this appeal there will be letters of final determination regarding the appeals, then a six-month printing period before the maps are finalized.

It was indicated it would most likely be a year before them maps are completed.

The new maps available online, at the Putnam County Commissioners office and at the Ottawa Municipal Building.

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