If you are one of the thousands of individuals who live behind one of the 178 levees in Clatsop County, or live near a body of water, you soon will be aware of the most significant issue to impact our county in some time.

Over the next couple of years, my family and countless other working class families will be substantially impacted by new flood insurance rates. These increased rates have already forced some homeowners to pay insurance cost that are higher than their mortgages, and caused others to lose their homes.

Even with the recently passed 2014 Flood Insurance Relief Bill, home losses and increases in flood insurance rates will still continue; this relief bill merely slows the impacts of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) new policies.

It should be noted that in the last 36 years there have only been two flood insurance claims in the city of Warrenton for a total of $11,478.15. However, the Biggert-Waters Act and the Relief Bill could raise insurance premiums as much as 3,000 percent by forcing substantially more homeowners to buy expensive insurance. These FEMA policies will also disproportionately impact those who can least afford the increase.

The city of Warrenton has been working tirelessly to prevent these insurance increases and associated impacts. Politics aside, I have worked with both Dale Barrett and Frank Orrell concerning these impacts. Both understand the severity of this issue and the need for the county commissioners to take an active role in solving this problem.

Regardless of how you decide to vote, please inform yourself of this subject and call for the current and future county commission to make this a top priority.

Collin Stelzig



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