Over the years the government has bought several homes in places in Polk County such as the flood plains of Peace Creek, Lake Lowery and Lake Seward after they suffered repeated flooding.
The idea was to reduce the impact of the taxpayer subsidy for poor development decisions.
Now it seems that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is thinking about allowing people to rebuild in these flood-prone areas as long as they build to a still-undefined higher standard.
It seems there is some pressure from local governments who are concerned leaving the land vacant will have a major effect on their tax base.
What’s missing from that discussion is that these local governments are the ones who approved the developments in the first place and enacted development codes that usually don’t adequately deal with the changes new development causes within a drainage basin as far as the amount and velocity of runoff.
The idea has drawn criticism from environmentalists and public works officials.
This comes at a time when people in flood zones are already complaining about high flood-insurance rates as federal officials are trying to make the rates reflect the true cost of dealing with claims. That is, they’re trying to run government like a business.
The reason the government is in the flood insurance business in the first place is because the private insurance company knows a bad risk when they see it and are not interested in writing policies at rates anyone can afford. Business owners never like to run businesses like the government.