NORWAY — A special town meeting will be held at 4 p.m. July 7 to vote on a revised Floodplain Management Ordinance.

The action is necessary by July 7 because the Federal Emergency Management Agency rejected the one approved at the annual town meeting June 15 due to problems with map names and dates, Town Manager David Holt said.

The discrepancies included the use of the word “Norway Map,” instead of “Oxford County Map,” he said.

The ordinance must be passed by July 7 or the town will be removed from the program, said Sue Baker, state coordinator for the National Flood Insurance Program that operates out of the State Planning Office in Augusta.

Baker said removal from the program means property owners won’t be able to get the required flood insurance on any federally-backed loan through a banking institution or their loans will be suspended when they are up for renewal.

Additionally, removal means that towns will have their state and federal flood disaster assistance suspended, Baker said.

Advertisement

She said towns throughout Oxford County are required to adopt the ordinance if they wish to remain in the program. The new ordinance is the result of new county flood plain maps that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has created. They include a new base map and conversion of the documents from paper to digital format.

Although Baker believes there is little if any changes to the flood zones in Oxford County, the conversions provide a much sharper image even to the point of being able to see some houses on the maps.

Map conversions are also being prepared in York and Cumberland counties and other coastal areas where changes in flood zone areas may occur.

All towns will be expected to review the maps once they are received to see the changes, Baker said.

There is no requirement that the ordinance be accepted except if a federally backed loan is involved, she said.

“We hope they would want to protect their investment, but there is no requirement unless a loan is involved,” Baker said.

Advertisement

If the revised ordinance is not adopted by July 7, the next day FEMA officials will take steps to suspend the town from the program, Baker said.

There is an appeal process only if a town disputes what is on the new maps, she said.

If the town can not make the vote by the July 7 deadline, it will be placed back in the program as soon as the vote is completed as long as “not too much time” goes by, Baker said.

“They will be allowed to get right back in. It’s just a matter of getting word to FEMA. We can make that happen,” she said.

The special town meeting will be held in the Town Hall. A public hearing will be held at 2 p.m. just before the town meeting as required by law.

[email protected]






Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.