“This is one of those things that we have to do,” City Manager Tom Ginter told the council.
Otherwise, federal flood insurance officials could impose regulations on some city residents that could be detrimental to the city.
City Building Inspector Lanny Holland said the new ordinance actually is a good thing for the city.
The last time a city flood ordinance was passed was in 1964. Since then, a number of drainage improvement projects have made it possible to reduce the number of properties considered to be flood prone.
“Some area are no longer in the flood plain,” Holland said. “A lot of areas that could not be developed can now be developed.”
In many cases, property owners who were once required to purchase flood insurance no longer are required to do so.
“This is really a good program,” Ginter told the council.
Holland said the city has been working on a new ordinance for some time. The process is a long and complicated one. Holland said former Building Inspector Mike Muñoz actually started the process years ago and he encouraged Holland to continue working on the project.
Holland said a new flood plain map is available online now.
“In some parts of town, insurance rates are way down,” Holland said.
He told the council that the entire ordinance actually was written for the city by the experts at the National Flood Insurance Program.
Bee County was one of only 15 counties selected to take part in this latest effort. “We’re really lucky we were selected for this,” Holland said.
In other business, the council voted to:
— Accept a report from the Bee County Chamber of Commerce on its use of hotel-motel occupancy tax funds.
— Approve an agreement with Urban Engineering for work on improvements to a water pump station at Veterans Memorial Park.
— Ratify the first reading of a resolution authorizing the use of 4B sales tax funds for repairing the irrigation system for downtown planting islands.
— Approve the sale of two properties within the city for the purpose of collecting unpaid property taxes.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.