SIKESTON -- The city of Sikeston has hired a St. Louis lawyer to investigate the possible mishandling of important correspondence regarding FEMA's new flood plain maps.
The decision to hire the attorney was made during a closed meeting of the City Council July 2. According to the state's open meeting law, the Council is permitted to meet in a session not open to the public to discuss certain legal matters.
"The motion was to retain the services of Richard Greenberg of Greensfelder, Hempker and Gale, PC, for a fee not to exceed $10,000," Karen Bailey, deputy city clerk, confirmed Monday.
The motion was made by Councilman Mike Bohannon and seconded by Councilman Bob Depro.
"The City Council voted unanimously to hire an outside firm to come in and see what all took place: who knew what, when and everything," Bohannon said Monday.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency was directed by Congress to update the 30-year-old flood plain maps as a lot of new areas began flooding in the late 1990s, according to FEMA officials.
The project also included modernizing maps by replacing paper with digital mapping.
City officials are disputing some of the additional areas in Sikeston that are designated as being in flood zones such as land located on the Sikeston ridge.