MUNSTER | The Town Council recently voted to spend up to $10,000 for on-call engineering services and documentation to FEMA aimed at removing the last five homes from the flood hazard zone protected by the levee system.
Removal from a Special Flood Hazard Area reduces the cost of flood insurance premiums for business and residential property owners, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“Every house but five (in the flood hazard area) will be removed by March 1. FEMA needs more data, including surveying work for elevation, on those last five,” Town Engineer James Mandon told the council. “It’s unlikely the whole $10,000 will be used."
Christopher Burke Engineering LLC will perform those tasks according to the agreement signed by the Munster Town Council.
The Crown Point-based engineering firm worked with Hammond and Munster last year to obtain a Letter of Map Revision from FEMA for the levee-protected areas along Hart Ditch and the western section of the Little Calumet River.
FEMA is expected to remove 1,556 Munster properties from the flood hazard area effective March 1.
“Five still remain in the SFHA because of interior drainage issues,” said Slavash Beik, of Christopher Burke, in a summary sheet to Munster officials.
Mandon said he thinks two of those five will be quickly removed from the flood zone because they are new construction that meets FEMA requirements.
The engineering firm also will mail out information packages to residents who may have misplaced their original notification of the Letter of Map Revision. This information allows property owners to apply for lower flood insurance premiums.
“It’s important to complete this project,” said Town Councilman David Nellans.
Munster will use money from its sewer fund to pay for the project.