Jerry J. Herrmann

Special to the Grove Sun

Fairland may soon become the 383rd community in Oklahoma to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program.

Gavin Brady, Oklahoma Water Resources Board NFIP state coordinator, told the Fairland Board of Trustees that the town must have ordinances regulating development in its floodplain before it can rejoin the program.

The town opted out of the program about a year ago.

Brady admitted that there “is not a whole lot of floodplain in Fairland” but the town still needs to participate in the NFIP.

As of Aug. 24, he said, the requirement that each town or city joining the program after 1980 must have a separate five-man Floodplain Board is being changed. New legislation says towns and cities’ boards or councils can serve as the Floodplain Board.

In the latest mapping, he said, FEMA added 400,000 homes in the state to the floodplains and subtracted about 380,000.

The Risk Map Process meetings being held in the county during the next four months may result in new maps for the area, he said as FEMA has already flown the area.

Gavin said as part of rejoining the NFIP the board has to adopt the FEMA maps. It must be the current map, not a previous FEMA map, he said.

Also, the town will have to hire a floodplain administrator.

He told the board that once they sign the papers to rejoin the NFIP, adopt regulations for floodplain development, create a floodplain board, adopt a FEMA map and name a floodplain administrator, residents can get flood insurance.

He said people having questions about the NFIP should go online to floodsmart.gov .

Mayor Andy Krebs said, “What gripes me is, this is a volunteer program, but if we don’t participate ?- our people suffer.”

Town Attorney Eric Wade reminded the board that it had voted in March to rejoin the NFIP. However, they shouldn’t join until after Aug. 24 so they don't have to have a separate floodplain board.

Gavin said the board could proceed with the paperwork and use the board as the floodplain board because Aug. 24 is so close.

The board agreed with Krebs that they need to get the process moving.

In other action:

• Decided to take no bids on hiring a town worker to do the mowing.

• Decided to take no bids on mowing the Fairland Cemetery.

• Established the National Incident Management Systemk as the standard for incident management in Fairland and appointed Police Chief Tony Wisely as the local point of contact.

Wisely said this action was necessary because during the ice storm four years the bills the town ran up it couldn’t get reimbursed by the federal government., he said.

He said the department had five tires chewed up in Joplin during the time the police officers spent up there. That was reimbursed by FEMA.

Directed staff to get the town’s insurance adjuster and Rokin’ G Roofing Systems together to see if they can agree on what needs to be done on the town hall roof.

• Accepted the resignation of Police Officer Mike Baker for personal reasons.

• Approved the hiring of Jamey Lennox, Derek Sullivan and Shannon Huston as reserve police officers.

• Approved sending the three new reserve police officers to the Reserve Academy in Grove.

• Directed Wade to create an ordinance allowing golf carts to travel on side streets in the town.

Sitting as the Fairland Public Works Authority the board:

• Took no action on the new well and tower after receiving six possible grant options from Wade.

• Tabled action on natural gas supply options and costs with purchasing gas from Grove Municipal or Panoak.

• Approved a payment agreement with Simmons Poultry as to be worked up by the attorney. Under the agreement, Simmons will be charged a $19,000 surcharge for the next year to pay what it owes the town.