Now is the time to speak out about flood maps

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To the editor,

I read a letter berating me for hiring a project manager and was of course, disturbed and started writing a counter letter in my head, but then I thought, it does no good to engage in this negativity; I should be spending my energy more positively, doing what I was elected to do, which is to serve the residents of Margate the best way I know how. So I delved into what I think is the most important issue we have ever faced as a coastal community, which is the revised flood insurance rate map and its designated special flood hazard areas.

All of us in the community are concerned about the affordability of flood insurance, based on the turnout at recent FEMA meetings, and the effect it will have on our home values – the biggest investment for most of us. 

The economic burden doesn’t stop at the homeowner; municipalities, who are already struggling with their budgets, will be even more “taxed” as their ratables decline as a result of widespread reassessments caused by the reduction in property values. Even if a property has no mortgage and is not required to carry flood insurance, the property value is still affected because when the home is sold, the new buyer will be able to afford less home because of the amount of flood insurance required, thus a lower value.

The consequences will be devastating if nothing is done to revise these special flood hazard area maps so they are less stringent, reflecting flood barriers, such as dunes and bulkheads. Now is the time to speak out before the maps are finalized. I’ve put on my marketing-public relations hat and have created some suggested talking points to share with your local, state and federal legislators, which will be available at our next meeting. If you’d like this list and a list of your legislators, email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and I’ll send them to you. 

Wasn’t this a better use of time? 

 

Commissioner Brenda Taube

Margate


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