MERRILLVILLE | Merrillville property owners required to have flood insurance could see their premiums drop by 15 percent this fall.
The discount is a result of the town's involvement in the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Community Rating System, said Matt Lake, executive director of Merrillville's Stormwater Utility.
Owners of parcels located in a floodplain are required to obtain flood insurance. To help those property owners, Merrillville applied to participate in the Community Rating System, which assesses and rates floodplain management programs.
The application process takes "at least a year" to complete, Lake said.
"It's not an easy process," he said.
Lake said Merrillville received the best rating allowed by the state, which has produced the 15 percent reduction in flood insurance premiums for residents. He said the discounts could be applied as early as Oct. 1.
The town is required to provide annual reports about its floodplain management program so residents can continue to receive the discount.
Merrillville is one of about 20 communities in Indiana to receive reduced premiums through the Community Rating System, and the town is the only municipality in Northwest Indiana participating in the program, Lake said.
"All communities should be involved in the program," he said.
He encouraged other local municipalities to apply as soon as possible.
Lake said the Community Rating System coordinator handling applications from Indiana also oversees applications from several other states.
If the number of applications goes up, it could increase the time it takes to go through the application process, he said.