Cumberland Times-News

Local News

August 27, 2013

Commissioners hear flood insurance concerns

ROMNEY, W.Va. — Concern for county residents who require unnecessary excessive flood insurance was discussed at the Hampshire County Commission meeting Tuesday.

Commission president Bob Hott said that he knows of places in the county that are required to have flood insurance but aren’t in the flood plain.

“We need to get the state involved and get these properties re-evaluated,” Hott said.

Owners who have properties designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as being in a special flood hazard area have to pay higher insurance premiums.

Even potential buyers of properties designated to be in a flood plain have an added expense on mortgage agreements.

If any portion of a property is on the FEMA special flood plain, there is a mandatory purchase requirement of flood insurance, even if the structure on the land is away from that specific area.

Charlie Baker, Hampshire County code and compliance officer, said the only way to lift that mandatory requirement is to prove through an engineering study that the insurance isn’t needed.

“If the homeowner or buyer is confident the structure is outside the flood plain, it is beneficial financially to have the study,” Baker said.

Baker said although the homeowner or buyer would be paying up-front costs, it would save more money over the life of the loan.

Changes in the flood plain began July 6, 2012, when a new law, known as the Biggert-Waters passage, took effect.

The law reset flood insurance premiums sharply upward in certain specific situations.

Baker said the county has an unknown number of homeowners paying for flood insurance that are in an area where FEMA has exaggerated the flood plain.

 “It’s up to the property owner to get engineering done. FEMA has to be proved wrong before it would change a designation,” Baker said.

According to Baker, the county commission is looking into the situation. Hopefully, he said, they can find a way to relieve the burden of the policy holders who are listed in the special flood hazard area but really aren’t.

In another matter, Sheriff John Alkire and Chief Deputy Nathan Sions spoke about emergency medical services concerns on transporting dead and decomposing bodies.

“Transporting decomposing bodies is an issue for EMS,” Sions said.

Sions said the sheriff’s office has found bodies that have been decomposing for three to four months.

“That isn’t an everyday occurrence, but it happens. It’s not unusual to find bodies that have been dead for a couple weeks. People just don’t check on people,” said Sions.

After a brief discussion, the sheriff’s office told the commission it would offer a cadaver transport vehicle to the coroners.

Other matters discussed at the commission meeting Tuesday included:

• Appointing Jason Judy as a second coroner and removing Louis Schoppert from the same position. Penny Hartman is the other coroner in the county.

• Negotiating a contract with Cabin Keepers to clean the Judicial Building, courthouse and annex.

• Appointing Ted Malcolm, who serves on the 911 board, to be the new Homeland Security Emergency Management director.

• Appointing Robbie Hott to Hampshire County Parks and Rec Board.

• Commissioner Steve Slonaker has done research on noise control and turned data over to Prosecutor Dan James for review.

The next Hampshire County Commission meeting is scheduled Sept. 10 at 9 a.m. at the Hampshire County Courthouse.

Text Only
Local News
  • Cemetery group’s efforts revive Oak Hill grounds Cemetery group’s efforts revive Oak Hill grounds

    After you drive Alexander and Furnace streets then navigate a couple of switchbacks on Cemetery Road, you’d figure there would be no more uphill.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Proposed county budget holds most agencies flat

    After taking into account an income tax shortfall, Allegany County Finance Director Jason Bennett said he’ll propose a budget that holds most outside agencies to flat funding and funds the Board of Education at what county officials say are maintenence of effort levels for 2015.

    April 17, 2014

  • RYAN WOLF Wolf named 2014-15 Garrett Teacher of the Year

    Southern Garrett High School teacher Ryan Wolf has been named the 2014-15 Garrett County Teacher of the Year.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rep. Delaney discusses congressional gridlock Rep. Delaney discusses congressional gridlock

    While giving a civics lesson at Frostburg State University on Thursday, U.S. Rep. John Delaney, congressman from Maryland’s sixth district, told students that the polarization in Congress is due primarily to redistricting and a poorly designed Congressional schedule.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fourmile Ridge wind project approved, moves forward

    The Federal Aviation Administration has approved the Fourmile Ridge wind project in eastern Garrett County and site preparation started April 7, according to Frank Maisano, a wind industry spokesman. The current notice listed on the FAA website for the project is for a small change in turbine location.

    April 17, 2014

  • Oakland back to normal after toppled tanker closes business district

    The town of Oakland returned to normal activities Thursday, one day after a tanker full of liquid propane overturned in the heart of the business district.
    Shortly after 8 p.m. Wednesday the toppled tanker was removed and its 10,000-gallon load transferred to another tanker.

    April 17, 2014

  • Students back Southern Middle School renovation

    Students from both Southern and Northern middle schools presented a list of reasons why Southern Middle needs to be renovated during the Garrett County Commission meeting Tuesday.

    April 17, 2014

  • Trial run Trial run

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 72nd anniversary of Doolittle Raid on Tokyo 72nd anniversary of Doolittle Raid on Tokyo

    Friday, April 18, has another special meaning for me besides Good Friday.
    April 18, 1942, proved to be a pivotal day for American morale, following the deadly air attack and destruction conceived and executed by Japanese Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lara Courrier seeks re-appointment to Mineral school board

    I, Lara Courrier, am seeking re-election to the Mineral County Board of Education to continue the work I’ve done the last four years. Having served as a school counselor at the Burlington Center School and the Chick Buckbee Juvenile Center for nearly six years, as well as approximately 20 years total working with children, I have insight into the needs of kids and the importance of the actions of the school board. Having three sons and several nieces and nephews in Mineral County schools, I have an added incentive to continue to work hard to ensure the efficient running of our school system. 

    April 17, 2014