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Friday, Oct 24, 2014

St. Pete mayor forming flood insurance task force


Published:

ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Bill Foster is forming a task force to try and head off the looming crisis of spikes in flood insurance premiums

Foster said he has reached out to state Sen. Jeff Brandes, Pinellas County Administrator Bob LaSala and Pam Dubov, the Pinellas County property appraiser.

He has also written or spoken with local leaders serving in Washington, including U.S. representatives Gus Bilirakis, Bill Young, Kathy Castor and U.S. senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio. He has asked for them to repeal or at least delay implementation of a federal law meant to reduce a $24-billion deficit in the National Flood Insurance Program.

“We need to be at the table when it comes to impact reform and repeal,” Foster said. “We’ve at ground zero.”

More than 33,000 homes in Pinellas County are at risk of seeing their flood insurance rise sharply. That includes 15,000 homes in St. Petersburg, city officials said.

City Council Chairman Karl Nurse called for the city to investigate offering financing for residents who want to elevate their homes, meaning they would pay lower insurance premiums, he said.

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