FEMA raises AM’s rates

The city of Anna Maria will not lose its discount on flood insurance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency after all.

But, property owners will see a reduction in their FEMA discount from 25 percent to 15 percent beginning Oct. 1.

In December 2017, building official Jimmy Strickland was fired by the city commission after communications from FEMA revealed Strickland failed to properly report and provide documentation related to FEMA’s Community Rating System.

The CRS provides municipalities and its property owners discounts on flood insurance for taking steps to reduce risks with educational outreach, floodplain management, stormwater management and improved regulatory standards, among other factors.

However, Strickland told officials in December 2017 that he did not know how to complete the documentation and, not wanting to ask for help, he let it fall to the wayside.

Craig Carpenter, CRS specialist for FEMA, informed the city in December that the city was at risk of being reclassified from Class 5 to Class 10 and losing its full discount by May.

City officials scrambled in December to complete and submit the paperwork neglected by Strickland and then awaited a final decision on the city’s flood insurance discount.

In March, Carpenter emailed city engineer Lynn Burnett to inform her that FEMA had completed its review of city documents and would recommend the city drop from a Class 5 to a Class 7 rating in October.