County to host flood mitigation meetings

For those who have been hit by soaring flood insurance rates or those whose properties were affected by Tropical Storm Lee, Lycoming County is holding meetings to assess the county’s mitigation needs for future grants.

County Hazard Reduction Planner Sal Vitko will explain projects that are typically funded under hazard mitigation assistance.

Most importantly, for the first time, the hazard mitigation project opportunity form will be available online at starting Monday. Those interested in flood mitigation can fill out the form online or at the meeting to show the need levels in the county and for future grant planning, said John Lavelle, development services supervisor, county planning department.

This effort is voluntary, and the form is not a contract, Lavelle said.

Also at the meeting, those whose properties were impacted by Tropical Storm Lee can give input on uses of Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery funds. Lavelle will explain the grant and what it covers.

Modeled after the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency buyout system, “It’s another stream of funding to buy out flood-damaged properties,” Lavelle said.

The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 is phasing out grandfathered flood insurance rates and ending the federal subsidy, so homeowners in floodzones are seeing the actual rates. However, many have jumped from $500 to more than $10,000 annually. Mitigating these properties may lower the rates.

Registration is required by contacting Jessica Burget at 320-2130 or at Registration deadline is noon Friday.

For more information, contact Sal Vitko at 320-2133 or at