April 22, 2014

Carroll County Supervisors, working with local and state experts, will determine how best to use vast amount of new information on flood plains in the county.

Carl Wilburn, planning and zoning director for the county, has fresh and expanded data generated by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources on what areas of the county are vulnerable to flooding.

The question before the county: Should the data be informational only or regulatory.

"We need to know the pros and cons," Wilburn said. "The whole thing is balance."

On the plus side, looking at the plains as a regulatory matter could open up insurance opportunities for landowners. But such a move also could mean restrictions on construction in flood-prone areas, Wilburn said.

Wilburn and the supervisors plan to hold a meeting with representatives from across the county to gain input on the decision.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will have to approve the final maps.

"We're talking about flood plains all over the county," Wilburn said.

Supervisor Dan Nieland suggested that representatives from all cities in the county should be involved in the formulation of a plan.