Lackawanna officials seeking flood insurance relief

Oct 24, 2012

Lackawanna says high flood insurance rates are creating problems for homes and businesses.

It's fairly standard for mortgage companies to require homeowner insurance on a home. If it's in a FEMA designated flood plain, flood insurance is also required and that may not be cheap.

With the help of Rep. Brian Higgins, major changes were made in the flood plains in South Buffalo, taking many homes off the insurance bills.

Now, Lackawanna says new maps aren't fair since they left about the same number of homes and businesses required to get the insurance.

Mayor Geoff Szymanski says flood insurance raises the cost of home ownership.

"We have a Smokes Creek engineering flood control project here in the city of Lackawanna and Lackawanna's creek hasn't flooded since 1959," Szymanski said.

"Yet we still have to pay this FEMA flood insurance and what this is doing is it's crippling our low to moderate income homes that have to pay this, what I consider, unfair tax just so they can have a mortgage."

Szymanski says he is very familiar with the issue since he lives in a flood plain and has to pay for flood coverage.