Kosciusko County Commissioners vote to change flood ordinance

(photo supplied / Times-Union)

Kosciusko County Commissioners voted to alter an ordinance that will allow homeowners in flood plains to complete work on their structures in phases.

Under the old ordinance, homeowners had one chance to complete remodels or alterations to a home, with the cost of the work not to exceed 50 percent of the value of the home. The new plan allows multiple projects, as long as the 50 percent threshold isn’t exceeded. As the value of a home increases, so does the threshold.

For example, a home worth $100,000 can have $49,999 in remodeling done. If that same home’s value increases to $150,000, then $74,999 can be spent on projects.

In all cases, the homes in the flood plain would need to be better protected after the projects are completed.

Matt Sandy, assistant planner and flood plain administrator for the county, said he spoke with several members of the Builders Association of Kosciusko and Fulton Counties. Sandy said the feedback he got was that under the new plan homeowners can take on more affordable projects that can help protect their property from flooding without having a big outlay of cash.

Commissioner Brad Jackson, a homebuilder, abstained from the vote.

The commissioners also approved a request from County Treasurer Rhonda Helser to join the Tax Refund Exchange and Compliance System (TRECS). It’s a program available through the Association of Indiana Counties to collect outstanding debts in a timely cost-effective manner.

Helser said her office will use it to collect delinquent property taxes, and other county agencies also could use the TRECS.

Highway Superintendent Scott Tilden asked for an ordinance to make the intersection of West CR 200S and Ferguson Road a four-way stop. Tilden said four people have been injured in accidents there over the last two years.

Tilden said there will be double stop signs and double stop ahead signs in both directions on CR 200S, plus other devices to get the attention of drivers approaching the intersection. The commissioners approved the ordinance.