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Freeboard increase suggested for floodplain construction

The Gloucester County Board of Supervisors heard an update on the county’s Floodplain Management Plan during the board meeting held on Oct. 3.

Director of Engineering Services Brent Payne suggested during his monthly report that the board consider increasing the amount of freeboard required during construction of new buildings in certain zones from two feet to three feet.

Supervisor Michael Winebarger asked whether the increased standard would help with insurance rates, and Payne said that property owners wouldn’t see the massive reduction in rates that occurred when the county increased its freeboard requirement from one foot to two feet, but that increased freeboard “sees the most points out of any regulatory action.”

Payne warned that a disaster declaration doesn’t mean that FEMA will save property owners, since the federal agency rarely provides funding to repair or replace a home, instead assisting with such things as temporary housing.

FEMA is se...

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