Apr. 12—GORDON — Two resolutions connected to an updated floodplain ordinance were adopted by the borough council at its April 5 meeting.
The ordinance was adopted in March and includes changes made by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which has been updating the floodplain maps throughout the country.
Following an informational meeting to inform residents about the changes, council President Todd Houser introduced resolutions regarding regulating construction or development in the floodplain, which in the floodplain ordinance which requires a permit from the borough; and another that allows the borough to establish fees for any appeal any action or decision of the floodplain administrator.
Borough solicitor Christopher Riedlinger said the first resolution requires that, before a permit is issued, the floodplain manager, who is Operations Manager George Troutman, would compile a cost estimate to reimburse the borough for all anticipated fees.
The applicant will be provided with the cost estimate, which will in turn be paid to the borough and placed in a non-interest-bearing escrow account until construction or development is completed. If the fees are less than the estimate, the difference will be reimbursed. If higher, the applicant will pay the difference.
All fees must be paid before the issuance of any occupancy permit under the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act/Uniform Construction Code.
The resolution drafted by Riedlinger had the non-refundable application fee at $250, although he said it could be changed.
"My personal opinion is, that it is very high for a permit fee," Houser said. "Every time you have to do something to your house, like put a roof on or siding on, you will need to get a permit. I don't burden them more (for) being in the flood zone."
After a short discussion among council members, Houser asked to set the fee at $25, to which the council agreed unanimously. In a case where there are additional costs, such as for engineering fees, an escrow account would be established.
Riedlinger said if someone decides to appeal a decision by the floodplain administrator or apply for a variance following the denial of a permit application, the filing fee is set at $750 payable to the borough. A hearing would be held before council. If there is a need for additional hearings, there is a $500 for each.
The second resolution was adopted unanimously.
FEMA says that once it provides flood hazard information upon which floodplain management regulations are based, a community is required to adopt a floodplain management ordinance that meets or exceeds the minimum National Flood Insurance Program requirements.
Contact the writer: email@example.com; 570-628-6023
(c)2021 the Republican & Herald (Pottsville, Pa.)
Visit the Republican & Herald (Pottsville, Pa.) at republicanherald.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.