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It's what we elect officials for — to watch out for our best interest.
While that happens in ways we often take for granted, when it comes to particular issues, our eyes open wider and our ears perk up higher than usual.
Part of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly meeting that prompted such a reaction came when member Glen Thompson said: "This could be millions of dollars in expense" for property owners.
Whoa. Say that again.
Thompson and his colleagues on the Assembly were in a discussion about an agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency regarding mapping of area flood zones.
Instead of signing the agreement, the Assembly agreed to consider a resolution at a later meeting.
Basically, FEMA has been directed by Congress to map flood zones in the United States. Living on a rock upon which most of the heavy rains flow from mountain tops to the waterfront fairly quickly, flooding doesn't appear to be a significant issue here.
But, knowing the federal government, it very well could become one. And, like Thompson said, it likely will cost us.
This is a borough issue because it participates in the National Flood Insurance Program. Also, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. requires lenders it insures to make flood insurance a term of mortgages issued for property in FEMA-recognized flood zones.
FEMA will begin mapping this summer. At its conclusion, the public will be allowed to comment.
The comment period will be made public. Members of the community will want to be sure to put this item in their tickler file. It will affect us, and we will want to comment in an effort to make it the least costly.