Coweta seeks Fayette help with Lake Mac issue

Tue, 08/25/2009 - 3:59pm
By: Ben Nelms

Coweta County commissioners Tuesday approved the submission of a letter to Fayette County Water Department requesting that Fayette include Coweta properties in federally-required documents relating to the the upcoming construction of Lake McIntosh. That inclusion could help Coweta property owners near the 650-acre lake avoid the requirement to purchase flood insurance.

Speaking Monday, Fayette County Administrator Jack Krakeel said Fayette had not yet received the letter and could not comment until it arrived, adding that the installation of the lake should not be a problem for Coweta property owners since Fayette County purchased the land for the lake and the lake easement.

Coweta County Administrator Theron Gay said last week that, as designed, the lake includes a portion of Coweta County, leaving the potential for some properties to be located in a flood zone.

To address the issue, commissioners agreed to send a letter to Fayette County, requesting that the Federal Emergency Management Agency-required Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) and Elevation Certificate include potentially affected properties on the Coweta side of the lake.

“For properties on which the flood plain does not impact structures or buildings, flood insurance requirements can be waived or substantially reduced if the LOMA and Elevation Certificate are prepared by an engineer or surveyor proving that the lowest floor of the structures are located above the flood elevation,” said Coweta Director of Development and Engineering Wayne Kennedy.

Consequently, Coweta will formally request that Fayette Water Department prepare and submit the documents to FEMA for the Coweta properties that will be impacted by the reservoir.

The request by Coweta comes after receiving a letter from FEMA notifying the county of the proposed changes in its floodplain maps as a result of the construction of the Lake McIntosh Dam and Reservoir.

“Based upon our review of the documents (signifying Coweta’s awareness of the project) we feel that additional action in necessary by the Fayette County Water Authority to protect several property owners in Coweta County from the flood insurance purchase requirement,” Kennedy said. “These property owners do not presently have floodplain on their property, nor will the reservoir encroach onto their property, but construction of the proposed reservoir will raise the flood elevation upstream of the dam onto their property.”

Kennedy noted that federal law requires that any mortgage for property in an area of floodplain must be protected by flood insurance, the cost of which is the responsibility of the borrower.

Contacted last week, Fayette County Water System Director Tony Parrott said the Lake McIntosh project goes back to 1976. Property for the 650-acre dam, reservoir and flood easement was purchased by Fayette County years ago, he said.

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