City expects flood plain map appeals process to begin in 45 days

City expects flood plain map appeals process to begin in 45 days

Flood map updates affecting Spencer and the rest of Clay County are expected to enter an appeals process in about 45 days.

That’s the expected time frame Spencer Planning Director Steve Hallgren said he has received from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The DNR and FEMA held local meetings last week in Spencer regarding the proposed updated flood plain maps that set boundaries for 100- and 500-year floods.

Once the an official appeals process begins, there will be a 45-day period to collect the appeals.

City staff will be notifying people who are both in a flood zone currently and are on their way out as well as property owners who are now in a flood zone and weren’t previously.

Any property owner who may be looking to appeal the proposed status of their property should contact the city.

“It’s my understanding that all appeals have to come through the city of Spencer,” Hallgren said.

The map updates have been in the works for over a year. 

Spencer city officials have been following the process closely because some homes in the city could find themselves now in updated flood zones, while others that had been within flood zone boundaries could now be outside.

At Monday’s meeting, Hallgren said he did have an exact number of how many homes may be affected. The city is still receiving calls and questions regarding those map updates, he said.

He was also asked what a homeowner with a home valued at $100,000 would be looking at spending if they now need to acquire flood insurance.

Hallgren said there are many factors and that the price of flood insurance varies, including how far into a flood plain a property is.

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