Iberville revises ordinance related to flood plain

The Iberville Parish Council on Tuesday night approved a newly revised ordinance to comply with the federal government’s updated floodplain map and the National Flood Insurance Program.

The new Federal Emergency Management Agency flood map of the parish, which changes the Base Flood Elevations for nearly 1,000 residents, goes into effect on Nov. 6, Edward “Lucky” Songy, chief administrative officer, said.

Nearly 500,000 property owners in Louisiana have flood insurance policies with the National Flood Insurance Program. Although flood maps for many areas are still being finalized — much remains unknown — some changes are beginning to be implemented Oct. 1. The NFIP was changed last year by Congress to make the program more financially self-sustainable. But much of that involves phasing out the special status that limited premiums on many properties built decades ago, as well as increasing rates on newer properties.

The council also approved a new ordinance regulating the keeping of livestock in residential and commercial areas. Livestock is defined as horses, mules, donkeys, cattle, llamas, sheep and goats, and the animals must be kept inside fences.

“The incidences of livestock, particularly horses, being at large on streets and roadways within Iberville Parish and damaging private property has been significantly increasing as horses tied on land have been found at large,” the ordinance states.

First time violators will face fines of $1,000 and up to six months in jail and second offenses will net $5,000 and up to a year behind bars, according to the ordinance.

An ordinance to abandon a stretch of Bayou Road near Maringouin that has been used as an illegal trash dump for years and has become a liability issue for the parish was delayed until next month.

Two residents, Jeff Wesley, representing absent property owner William Lockman Jr., and Linda Kelly, who also owns property along the road but does not live there, opposed it at a public hearing prior to the council meeting.

Parish Council President Matthew H. Jewell said he would set up a meeting with the property owners in the near future.

Parish Assessor John R. “Randy” Sexton reported there were no appeals of 2013 assessed property values and no taxing districts rolled their millages forward.

Assessed value for 2013 is estimated at $518.5 million, up $28.4 million from 2012 assessed value of $490.1 million, Sexton reported.

“This is really, really good news,” Sexton said. “I see a bright road ahead of us.”

An ordinance setting the speed limit at 20 mph on Barrow Street was also approved.