Rather than wait for other entities to act, several Spencer City Council members indicated they’d like city staff to be proactive in an ongoing flood zone maps update.
After Monday’s council meeting, City Manager Amanda Mack said the city is still waiting to hear from either FEMA or the Iowa Department of Natural Resources on where the update process stands.
“I don’t think we want to wait (to hear),” councilman Ron Hanson said during the meeting.
The topic was first discussed in December with Planning and Zoning Director Kirby Schmidt told the council at a meeting that month about the updates.
A draft version of the map is available, but as Schmidt noted in December to the council, it contains errors. The DNR is working on making those corrections, he said.
The city hasn’t yet heard back from the DNR.
Hanson noted that the new flood plain maps could affect “a lot of people” in Spencer. He said he views the matter as an economic development issue because some property owners could be required to purchase flood insurance.
“It’s going to have a real effect on housing,” Hanson said.
Councilman Bill Orrison echoed Hanson’s concerns about how being required to purchase flood insurance could affect Spencer residents.
“It’s no significant amount,” Orrison said of the costs.
Councilman George Moriarty said that he understands the maps are currently being corrected after the city made known the drafts contained errors, but reiterated that the city should stay “on top” of the issue.
“I think if they do have hearings, we need to be represented,” he said.