U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Federal Emergency Management Agency Region II Jacob K. Javits Federal Office Building
26 Federal Plaza
New York, New York 10278
December 10, 2018
Anthony Klimek Code Enforcement Officer Town of German Flatts, NY
66 East Main Street PO Box 57
Mohawk, New York 13407
RE: National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Community Assistance Contact (CAC)
Town of German Flatts, Herkimer County, New York
Community Identification Number (CID) 360305
Dear Mr. Klimek:
This letter is a follow-up to the recent Community Assistance Contact (CAC) which was held in the Town of German Flatts, Herkimer County, New York (Town) on, November 29th 2018. This CAC was held for the purpose of addressing the Town’s current state of floodplain management and flood insurance program non-compliance. As you are aware, the CAC was a follow up to a previous Community Assistance Visit (CAV), which took place on April 14, 2016.
FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), Guidance for Conducting Community Assistance Contacts and Community Assistance Visits, FEMA F- 776 April 2011 is the basis for this process. Per that guidance, the 2016 CAV consisted of a field assessment of development in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) as well as a review of the town’s flood hazard regulations and administrative practices. The CAV was conducted by Jason Fenn (FEMA) and Albert Ash (NYSDEC). The CAV results are summarized below.
Potential violations of the community floodplain management regulations
Creekside Mobile Home Park - At this time, the primary focus of NFIP compliance remediation is on a number of potential violations at a small Manufactured Home Park (MHP) on Fulmer Creek just south of Mohawk Village line. New manufactured home trailers were placed in Zone A [Zone AE, possibly in floodway (per new preliminary DFIRMS) issued in 2011] on Fulmer Creek, trailers are on stacked blocks which is prohibited. Further, it is not clear if trailers are properly anchored, propane/fuel tanks appear not to be anchored, stone blocks have been added to the streambank [in floodway], fill and grading have been added for site access, bases for trailers, and accessory structures. Tax parcel #120.63-1-2, State Route 168, owner: William Jaquish.
This property was flooded in 2013 and at least twice before. The Effective Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) shows the entire property to be within the SFHA, but the current preliminary FIRM shows a narrower floodplain, BFE's and a floodway. A stream protection project was approved in 2006 resulting in the placement of two tiers of rock above the stream bank. This work was performed with compliant State and federal permits. To its credit, the town did not issue a building permit for the additional work, and cited the owner for construction without permit. The property owner added stone in 2010 through 2011 and subsequently built the wall up to above the top of bank and added a two (2) foot high cement barrier on top of that. Fill was placed landward of the wall and damaged manufactured homes were replaced. A wall was also erected perpendicular to the stream at the upstream edge of the property. Some of this development is within the preliminary floodway.
Subsequent to the 2016 CAV the State Supreme Court ruled that the owners must cease all use and residency of the property; & remove all noncompliant encroachments to the floodplain and/or floodway by December 01, 2018 or incur $250.00 fines per day until compliant with the court order. And, the terms of that Court Order require that the compliance work be performed on the Property pursuant to the Preliminary Floodplain mapping.
2. New replacement trailer in the center rear of the MHP next to Fulmer Creek, Zone A [Zone AE, per new preliminary DFIRMS issued in 2011] with small accessory structures. Tax parcel #120.3-2-40, State Route 168, reputed owner: James Helmer. Pursuant to a FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) program acquisition this potential violation appears to have been resolved. Please provide confirmation.
3. New replacement trailer in the southwest corner of MHP next to Fulmer Creek, Zone A with a small deck and unsecured propane tank. Tax parcel #126.2-2-16.2, off of State Route 168, reputed owner: Leatherstocking Mobile.
4. Armored stream crossing with heavy stone in Fulmer Creek for a pipeline, Zone A. Tax parcel #126.2-2-33, off of Rock Hill Rd, reputed owner: Susan Thuener.
5. Fulmer Creek, Zone A, State Route 168: A number of properties were observed with large piles of fire wood and/or logs stored by creek side and unsecured.
6. Many small sheds, decks, and stream crossing bridges were observed in Zone A of tributary to Steele Creek along Spinnerville Gulf Rd.
The table below outlines action items for address by way of a Corrective Action Plan by your office no later than 120 days from the date of this letter. Coordination, review, and status calls will be established by the Region II, Floodplain Management and Flood Insurance Branch to discuss and review progress, and provide technical assistance toward completion of your Corrective Action Plan for each Non-Compliant element identified below.
Over the course of the next four (4) months, FEMA Region II Floodplain Management & Flood Insurance Branch will coordinate with your office to set up regular technical assistance meetings (CAV Follow-up) with the Town to monitor compliance.
FEMA requires that all noncompliant development be mitigated to the maximum extent practicable (as per Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 44, § 60.3). This requirement applies regardless of the community official or administration that was in the administrative position when the noncompliant development occurred. When the Town becomes aware of such noncompliant development, it must take action to address the noncompliance. As necessary, FEMA Region II is available to assist the community in this effort.
If you should have any questions, please feel free to contact our Floodplain Management & Insurance Branch Chief at (347) 633-4308 or Scott.Duell@fema.dhs.gov, and/or NFIP Program Specialist at (212) 680-3624 or Jason.Fenn@fema.dhs.gov. Thank you for your cooperation on this important endeavor.
Michael F. Moriarty, Director Mitigation Division
Cc: Scott V. Duell – FEMA
Alan A. Fuchs, P.E. – NYSDEC