House apparently built below base elevation
CHARLESTON - Despite the efforts of officials to inform Mississippi County residents of their obligation to get a flood plain permit before beginning new construction, there are still some who apparently don't know.
Martin Lucas, commissioner, said during Thursday's county commission meeting that there is a house being built by a county resident below base flood elevation in East Prairie in violation of the county flood plain ordinance.
Under the ordinance, which is required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for participation in the National Flood Insurance program, flood plain permits are required before beginning new construction or renovation involving over 50 percent of a structure.
As lenders require a flood plane permit before making loans, commissioners surmised the resident must be using his own money for the project.
Commissioners agreed to send a letter to the resident advising him the building is in violation of the flood plain ordinance.
Lucas said FEMA considers the ground as the first floor for houses using a block foundation with a crawl space underneath although for insurance purposes the finished floor is considered the first floor. "They actually need to fill to the base flood elevation with dirt," said Lucas.
The county's flood plain ordinance was amended by commissioners earlier this year to require the first floor to be at, instead of one foot above, base flood elevation.
Recent flooding in Mississippi County was an issue discussed by commissioners during the meeting. While communities in low-lying areas in the county such as Wyatt, Wilson City and East Prairie experienced severe flooding, the county did relatively well draining off the water, according to commissioners.
"It's bad, but it's better than it used to be," said Homer Oliver, commissioner, regarding drainage.
Commissioners also reviewed a letter from the president of the Senate Bill 40 Board, Jack Farmer of Charleston, advising commissioners that he and Myrtle Austin of Charleston would be resigning from the SB-40 Board effective Dec. 31.
Dick Brown and Richard Conn were recommended as replacements.
"I think these are two good guys," said Jim Blumenberg, presiding commissioner.
Commissioners agreed, however, to wait before making a final decision on replacement appointments to the board.
The SB-40 Board is comprised of nine members who serve three-year terms.