The Federal Emergency Management Agency is tempering
enforcement of new preliminary Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps that could
dramatically alter designated floodways in Lafayette, which affect insurance
rates and building regulations. Earlier this year, city officials met with FEMA
regarding a series of issues it had with the new floodways. In a letter to
City-Parish President Joey Durel dated April 1, FEMA Assistant Administrator of
the Mitigation Directorate David Maurstad writes, “During the meeting, you
raised several technical issues related to the new models and topography used
to create the preliminary Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map for Lafaeytte
Parish. I want to commend the parish for taking the initiative to analyze these
issues.” Maurstad adds FEMA would continue working with the parish on possibly
revising the updated maps and that, at this point, they should be considered
“informational only” while the parish may continue using previously identified
floodways for all practical purposes involving “floodplain management,
insurance rating and insurance purchase requirements.”
This represents a reversal from a directive FEMA put out
last year with the new preliminary maps, stating they should be considered “the
best available information” and effective immediately. The issue caused a small
panic at City Hall, where officials found the revised floodways covering a
number of new developments in the city, thereby threatening some building permits. Two of the areas in question included
Louisiana Avenue at I-10, where Stirling Properties is developing a major new
shopping center, and parts of Olde Town at Mill Creek, a traditional
neighborhood development in the works off Verot School Road between Lafayette
and Milton. In a released statement, Durel called the latest letter from FEMA
“excellent news for Lafayette Parish. We felt like we had made good arguments during our
meeting in DC that there were problems with the draft maps, and this letter
confirms that our arguments were well received by FEMA."
Frank’s Casing Crew, now doing business as Frank’s International, will make its final appearance on ABiz’s list of the Top 50 Privately Held Companies in Acadiana this year, and once again it will likely be at the top with more than $1 billion in annual revenues. The 75-year-old company specializing in tubular fabrication and installation services to the oil and gas industry plans to offer shares of its stock to the public for the first time.
The defeat, or rather highjacking of House Bill 420 in the final days of this year's Legislative Session, say Reps. Vincent Pierre and Terry Landry, is the result of the propaganda spread by one unidentified local media outlet and an unnamed former state Representative, but nothing to do with the original legislation's lack of checks, balances or details.
He’s a singer. A songwriter. A piano man. A family man. He’s even got his own Wikipedia entry. He’s David Egan. And he knows ancient secrets about the monolithic stones of Stonehenge that he’s not willing to share.