The City of Buffalo

Agenda Item

Franczyk - FEMA & DEC Flood Insurance Maps


Department:Common CouncilSponsors:Fillmore District Council Member David A. Franczyk


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WHEREAS:  Nearly a decade ago the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) foisted a botched and burdensome Flood Plain Map on parts of South Buffalo, Lovejoy, Fillmore’s Old First Ward and Waterfront Village area; and,

WHEREAS:  The proposed 100-Year FEMA Floodplain Map would have compelled large numbers of city residents and businesses to purchase expensive flood insurance previously not mandated or necessary; and,

WHEREAS: It was determined that the LIDAR surveying technology used at the time could be incorrect by eight inches, although a “recently completed” Flood Insurance Study and Flood Insurance Rate Maps have supposedly established “basic flood levels for the City of Buffalo.”

WHEREAS: This contentious issue has remained dormant for nine years, but now is again raising its ugly head with a January 8, 2019 communication from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to the city stating that “the City of Buffalo must adopt the new Flood Plain Insurance Study and Flood Insurance Rate Maps . . . by June 7, 2019;” and.

WHEREAS: FEMA is threatening that if the city does not approve their local law proposal accepting their “revised flood plain maps,” the community is “eligible for suspension from the so-called National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)”; and,

WHEREAS: Does this 11th-hour “study,” attempt to once again foist unnecessary and unreasonable costs on a growing number of City of Buffalo residents and businesses along the waterfront, thus jeopardizing the Waterfront’s revival?

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED : That the Common Council request that representatives of FEMA, the NYS DEC, the city’s Public Works Department and any other germane parties appear before the Common Council to explain the ramifications of this program as well as what burdens it will lay on the people of Buffalo.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That the local elected State and Federal delegation review the DEC/FEMA communication and take whatever action is necessary should this mandate negatively impact the City of Buffalo.