Five candidates are running for two seats on the Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen this November. Of top concern to the town is impending legislation that would increase its home and business owners’ flood insurance rates. The two alderman hopefuls who attended last night’s beach town forum at WHQR are both campaigning on their mission to delay implementation of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act. This federal law is meant to recover recent losses to FEMA’s Flood Insurance Program, and stands to significantly raise local insurance rates.
Even if they can’t delay the act from going into effect, the candidates say they’re prepared to help their city’s residents manage increased insurance premiums. Alderman candidate and Mayor Pro Tem Bill Sisson says Wrightsville Beach can help its residents and businesses take advantage of a community ratings system FEMA is using to reward responsible flood management with discounted insurance rates.
"An example of something like that would be enhancing the dune system to afford greater protection for the barrier island, which in turn would give points to people who were being hit by these flood insurance rate increases. "
Sisson adds that North Carolina can join forces with Florida and Mississippi, other states working to delay the insurance hikes. Alderman candidate Lisa Weeks says the town needs to work with its neighboring communities to foster a stronger defense to the pending law.
"We don’t have a shared voice for coastal communities up and down the Eastern seaboard and I think it’s very critical at this point to build a coalition of communities. We started that when I was on the board; we met with the Kure and Carolina Beach leadership and started that camaraderie. And I think we need to expand that, to have a strong, shared voice at the state and federal level. "
Both Sisson and Weeks say they believe they’ll be able to delay this flood insurance reform, but that it won’t be done easily or quickly.
**You’ll hear more from the candidates later in the week as Election Season continues… including those from Kure Beach.
And don’t miss tonight’s Wilmington City Council Candidates Forum. WWAY TV 3 and WHQR will carry the live broadcast at 7 PM.