Councilors Approved New Flood Plain Maps

By Sue Ellen Woodcock

Last Thursday, after a joint meeting and public hearing between the Planning Board, and the Winthrop Town Council the new FEMA flood maps for the town were approved unanimously.

Once approved by the town the maps went into effect yesterday, March 16.

Al Legee, head of inspectional services, said the town had no choice but to approve the maps. If they had not people would not been able to get flood insurance through FEMA. In some cases the elevations at certain property changed only by inches.

Legee said the building department has an open door for anyone who wants to review the maps and they are also available online under He also has telephone numbers and reminded people that they do need to obtain an elevation certificate.

“It’s a tough thing to take,” said Legee, who lives in Revere where flood maps were also controversial. “I feel your pain.”

Around the area people have complained about the $2,000 to $4,000 insurance cost. Local officials were also concerned about the impact on people on fixed incomes, who have paid off their mortgage.

Legee’s office sent out 300-400 letters to property owners whose properties are effected by the map changes. He suggested that anyone who wants to contest should hire an engineer to recheck the elevations on your property.

Town Manager James McKenna said the FEMA maps came out about nine months ago, effecting 713 homes in Winthrop.

“The council asked us to contest them. We did and they (FEMA) pulled back on their boundary areas,” McKenna said.

“Independent homeowners can appeal on their own,” said Joe Domelowicz, who heads up economic development and grants for the town manager.

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