The Saratoga Sun -

No flood insurance for Encampment

National Flood Insurance Program unavailable to town residents until conditions are met


February 14, 2018

During a rescheduled regular meeting, held at 7 p.m. on Jan. 5 at the Encampment Town Hall, members of the Encampment Town Council were informed the town was still under the status of "non-participating community" in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Kim Johnson, who represented the program for the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security, explained to the council that while under this status, they would be unable to buy flood insurance.

This revelation came about as Johnson was giving the town council an update on the mapping project which NFIP had began in May 2015. Johnson told the council that along with giving an update about the project, he was also there to extend an invitation to become a participating community.

"I serve on the CCCOG (Carbon County Council of Governments) meetings ... and the impression that I had was that we had engaged in that process," said council member Cindy Hamilton.

Mayor Greg Salisbury echoed Hamilton's thoughts.

"You have been a very active participant in the mapping update project since its inception," said Johnson, "Technically your status right now is a 'non-participating community' so you cannot buy flood insurance."

Johnson went on to inform the council Encampment joined the towns of Hanna and Sinclair as the only municipalities within Carbon County that are currently non-participating communities. To become a participating community, the Town of Encampment would need to do the following:

•Fill out an application to begin the process of joining the NFIP.

•Pass a resolution to join the program and adopt a flood damage prevention ordinance.

"This program is voluntary for community participation," said Johnson, "but it requires those things in order for flood insurance to be for sale ... within the political subdivision of Encampment."

Hamilton asked for clarification from Johnson on whether, as a homeowner, she would be able to purchase flood insurance. Johnson informed her that, currently, she would be unable to purchase that insurance.

Johnson further explained while Encampment can certainly volunteer to be involved with the NFIP, without any floodplain maps on record they would be limited in their coverage. Primary residential structures would only receive up to $35,000 in coverage and commercial structures would receive up to $50,000.

"When the mapping project is done and they have formally assessed all the risk," said Johnson, "your options will change if you are already in the program."

Encampment, upon the completion of the mapping project, would see coverage for residential structure increase from $35,000 to a maximum of $250,000.

Before yielding the floor, Johnson told the council he would be more than willing to aid the town in the process of applying for participation in the NFIP. While no formal motion had been made, the council seemed in agreement to begin the process of becoming a participating community.

In other business, Josh Craig, of Mother Mountain Anglers (MMA), approached the council about reserving the town park for June 23 for MMA to hold their second annual disc golf tournament. Craig also requested permission to have a band at the park as well as use of the town's stage. Salisbury saw no issue with the request and, after being motioned and seconded, Craig's request was approved.

After a public hearing in which no objections were raised, The Divide, LLC., owned by Desi and JoElla Vacher, was granted a new bar and grill liquor license.

Craig Kopaz gave the council updates on the community fishing pond project.

Monty Hobbs raised concerns about one of the alleyways in Encampment that was being used by people to access their homes and causing ruts and if anything could be done with it. The public works department assured the council that while ruts were forming in the alleyway, it was still passable and did not present an immediate concern.

With no other business to conduct, the council adjourned. The next regular meeting of the Encampment Town Council will be at 7 p.m. on March 8 at the Encampment Town Hall.


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