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The second-day story, with your help. Call Gazette reporter Adam Belz at (319) 398-8273 or e-mail him: adam.belz@gazcomm.com

Flood insurance to cost a bundle for courthouse, jail

Flood insurance premiums for seven county buildings that were flooded — and yes, FEMA requires flood insurance for those if it’s goin to shell out millions of dollars to repair them — will be about $630,000 per year, Linn County Risk Manager Steve Estenson said this morning.

That’s more than 1 percent of the county’s annual general fund budget.

“Our two highest costs are of course the jail and courthouse,” Supervisor Lu Barron said of the two buildings on May’s Island, both of which sustained significant flood damage.

The premiums for federal flood insurance will be $50,000 per year, but the county has to insure its buildings for another $30 million in damage, and the premiums for that insurance are $580,000 per year, Estenson said.

Millheiser Smith, the company that came up with the quotes for the county, had to piece together that $30 million in coverage using six different insurers.

“They had challenges in finding insurance companies that would provide this,” Estenson said.

Estenson said there’s hope the county may not have to buy so much insurance, if the state insurance commissioner allows the county a waiver. Rick Smith gets a little deeper into this on his blog.

As it stands now, insurance has to be in place when the county reoccupies the flood-damaged part of a building.

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