It took 13 years, but FEMA has lifted the flood plain classification in the city of Stanfield, relieving the burden of flood insurance and opening the door for new business.
"Every year they said it would be a couple of more months, a couple of more months and then here is it," Jack Huxoll, city councilor, said.
In a letter to Mayor Tom McCann, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, (FEMA), informed the city of Stanfield effective Aug. 17, the city will no longer be in the flood plain of Stage Gulch creek, which runs through the city's center.
The decision came after the Flood Insurance Study Report and Flood Insurance Rate Maps were revised. The revisions come as a great relief for everyone involved.
"It's been a long, arduous process and it's finally done," McCann said. "It will allow citizens in the old flood plain to develop empty lots and those already here to end their flood insurance."
The end of the flood insurance premiums, McCann said, is the biggest benefit, with community members paying between $40-$200 per year in flood insurance.
The city of Stanfield itself pays $736 in flood insurance, Stanfield Finance Director Jerry Carlson said.
Huxoll said without the flood insurance premiums the city will begin to prosper again.
"It means we can bring in businesses," he said.
McCann agreed, adding the city can also apply for restoration grants that will help the city aesthetically, which in turn could lead to growth.
"It's a big relief to me and hasn't been without a lot of help from many different federal agencies," McCann said. "I appreciate the citizens' patience."
The results of the revisions are already being felt.
Carlson said City Hall has received many phone calls from mortage and insurance companies wanting to confirm the city's classification had changed.
Copies of the letter are available in City Hall and include a map showing the revised flood plain map.