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Pinellas County to tackle flood insurance changes

Pinellas County is creating a coalition of community leaders to work on the issues surrounding changes made to the National Flood Insurance Program.

In a letter from Chairman Kenneth T. Welch, written on behalf of the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners, he states that the group effort is to develop a cooperative, broad-based and data driven approach to dealing with the issues.

“A key part of the strategy is to enlist the active engagement of every city in Pinellas County and develop an accurate portrayal of the nature and magnitude of the impacts our communities will face, dispelling the myth that this only affects the rich living on the beach,” said Welch. “It is a much different and pervasive problem.”

Changes made to the program is expected to affect more families and businesses in Pinellas County than in any other community in the nation and the effects of rising insurance rates are being felt in the local real estate market.

Wendy Nero, Pinellas County’s manager of intergovernmental relations, will be leading the effort for Pinellas County in coordination with Pam Dubov, Pinellas County property appraiser. The plan is set to begin in January.