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December 24, 2008 THE VILLADOM TIMES IV • Page 3 Mahwah Township may change flood insurance rate map by Frank J. McMahon The Mahwah Township Council is expected to fund the cost of revising the Federal Emergency Management Agen- cy’s flood insurance rate map for the area around North Railroad Avenue, which is near the New Jersey Transit train station on East Ramapo Avenue at Old Station Lane. One of the residents of that street, Barbara Alberts, recently advised the township council that when she attempted to refinance her home she was told by her bank that she had to purchase flood insurance. But she claims that Steven Koestner, an engineer she hired to review the map, has told her that the flood insurance rate map is wrong and needs to be changed. “We need the map changed so FEMA can take me out of the flood area,” Alberts told the council. Koestner wrote to Boswell McClave Engineering, the township’s engineering firm and asked that firm to submit a letter of map revision to FEMA on behalf of the township in order to authorize a revision to the flood insurance rate map. Koestner claims the FEMA map depicts a railroad crossing over the Masonicus Brook that appears to act as an obstruction in the channel, causing water to build up to a flood elevation. That crossing was removed some time ago, according to Koestner, yet the latest flood study still includes the impact of that controlling structure. “The removal (of that structure) should have a signifi- cant effect on lowering the flood elevation and the antici- pated flood water damage to (Albert’s property) and the upstream vicinity,” Koestner wrote. The FEMA map has not been revised, however, to reflect the existing site conditions and, therefore, it does not cor- rectly reflect the flood elevations of the brook, according to Michael Kelly, the Boswell representative for the town- ship. “This adversely affects properties located along the brook between Railroad Avenue and the location where the railroad crossing was removed,” Kelly told the council, “requiring some property owners to be required to pur- chase flood insurance.” Kelly told the council certain things would be needed to correctly delineate the floodplain limits of the Masoni- cus Brook and to submit an application for a letter of map revision to FEMA, including topographic survey informa- tion and a review of FEMA’s stream cross section data with the existing current topographic survey information. Data would then have to be revised and the FEMA flood panel and flood profile of the Masonicus Brook would have to be amended to depict the revised floodplain and floodway limits along with flood elevations for this area. Then, cer- tain forms would have to be completed and submitted to FEMA along with certain computations, topographical data, photographs, and an annotated flood map and pro- file. The township would then have to file a request for a letter of map revision and coordinate the review process with FEMA. 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Call (201) 529-READ. 100% Guaranteed �������������������������� ���������������������� � ��������������������� ������������� Library hosts screenings ����������������������� ������������������������� ���������� ������������������ ������������������� ������������������������������������� services would be approximately $11,000, not including application fees, which could be about $800. Kelly emphasized that the township has not made any error in this matter, but the map was just not updated by FEMA even though the bridge was removed 15 to 20 years ago. He explained, however, that FEMA has a policy that requires an engineer to prove that the map is wrong and to show how it should be before it will be updated. ���������������������������� ��������������������� ������������������������������������ ��������������������������������������� ������������������������������������� ����������������������������������������������� you can’t afford to be cold! 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