The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

July 19, 2012

Lawrence County voters to decide flood insurance question

MT. VERNON, Mo. — Voters in Lawrence County will decide a ballot question Aug. 7 that would allow flood insurance to be purchased through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Voters also will select nominees for federal, state and county offices.

The County Commission has placed a question on the ballot to ask if residents want to be eligible for the National Flood Insurance Program.

Presiding Commissioner Sam Goodman said that flood plain mapping of the county recently was completed. He encourages residents to view the maps to see whether their property is located in a flood zone.

“Now that they have us mapped, if we want to participate (in the federal flood insurance program), it’s a lot cheaper to get it through FEMA than private insurers,” Goodman said.

An informational session about the insurance program will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the courtroom at the county’s old courthouse, Goodman said. A representative of the State Emergency Management Agency will be there to present information and answer questions about the program, Goodman said.

The maps are available at the commission office in the courthouse for residents, property owners and insurers to examine.

Goodman said that it cannot be assumed that a property that has never flooded will not in the future. Property development in other areas can create flood plains where they have not previously existed. That is why the flood maps are updated at intervals.

The only cost to the county for inclusion in the flood insurance program is the cost of placing the question on the ballot, Goodman said.

MARIONVILLE SCHOOLS

Voters in the Marionville School District will be asked to approve a bond issue of $1.3 million for high school-related construction projects.

Superintendent Larry Brown said the money would be used to build a new vocational-agriculture center and to enlarge the high school cafeteria by 3,000 square feet.

“We built a new high school in 2008 and 2009, but due to budget restraints we were not able to build the vo-ag,” he said. “We are able to bond enough money now to build the vo-ag. It’s the same thing with cafeteria space. We built what we could afford at the time knowing we needed to do more later.”

The district’s debt-service levy has been 98 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. Under the bond issue plan, the debt-service levy would remain in place at 98 cents until the $1.3 million was paid off.

The district’s total levy is $3.73 per $100 of assessed valuation. At that rate, the owner of a $100,000 home pays $708.70 in annual school taxes.

Passage will require a four-sevenths, or 57.1 percent, majority.

If voters approve the question, the district would take bids and try to start construction in the fall, with a target for completion in late 2013 or early 2014.

The district has 710 students with 240 of them in high school.

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