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Designation of Florence park could help lower flood insurance payments

Staff writer

The naming of a “new” city park during Florence’s Monday meeting could save residents money thanks to a federal program.

The 15-acre area around Florence’s sewer pond was renamed “Walnut Park,” designating it a permit only, no maintenance park.

“We need to designate this as a city park,” mayor Bob Gayle said. “Not the ponds, just the woodlands and everything around that.”

Setting the area up as a no maintenance park earns the city points toward a 5% discount on flood insurance for residents. The discount is provided through the National Flood Insurance Program. Depending on how many points are earned, residents can receive a discount of up to 45%.

Other ways to earn points toward the discount include publishing a regular notice about the program in Florence’s newsletter and posting it on the city’s social media page.

Final payment of $492.57 was written Monday for work on Florence’s gym floor, but it raised new questions about how to manage the space.

“We ought to put together the rules and regulations, what type of events are acceptable and what aren’t,” Gayle said. “What are the requirements for insurance releases? It’s so you have a clearly defined procedure for this going forward.”

Anyone interested in using the space also needs to be aware of the additional heating costs for using the gym during winter, councilman Trayce Warner said.

“It should be made clear to anyone who might want to use it in the winter that this is part of it,” she said. “You may only have to pay $450 to rent it, but you’re going to be responsible for the gas bill, which could potentially be twice that.”

The total cost was $60,650, but $25,000 was covered thanks to the insurance Florence had when work started.

Interim city clerk Heather Thiel said Florence should take precautions for people not treating the new trash truck properly, after paint exploded in a trash bag from Burns.

“Something should be set in place,” she said. “If something like this happens again, maybe a fine or something sent to the people not respecting the rules.”

Last modified Oct. 10, 2019

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