Manatee County Begins Work to Help Make Flood Plain Maps More Accurate Than Ever

Manatee County, FL (May 7, 2009) – In an effort to support new flood maps scheduled to be released around 2011 , Manatee County Government has begun the county-wide program of installing hundreds of aluminum markers that will provide precise elevation data for years to come.

The undertaking, expected to last up to four years, will enhance the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s nationwide Map Modernization Project that will update the country’s aging flood hazard maps to reflect the most current flood risks.  

By updating local maps and improving local flood mitigation standards, Manatee County is working diligently to improve its standing in FEMA’s Community Rating System. The new maps will alert many Manatee County property owners of the need for flood insurance and an improved rating could save residents living in special flood hazard zones nearly $500,000 annually in flood insurance premiums.

“By improving the quality, providing more, and making a master list of the benchmarks readily accessible to surveyors, Manatee County will earn additional credit in the Community Rating System,” said Sandy Tudor, a floodplain investigator with Manatee County Building Department. “The project will improve stormwater management, drainage maintenance, flood warning systems. And it will preserve sensitive lands, and create better construction practices in the floodplain to help us achieve the next level and earn additional discounts on flood insurance policies for our citizens.”

Flood rate maps currently in use are out of date.  Some formerly rural areas were never mapped in detail, and other areas haven’t been re-mapped in years.  As a result, many property owners may not be fully aware of their risks and properly insured against floods.

“Everyone needs to know what flood risk they face for their particular area,” said Todd Boyle, registered surveyor with Manatee County Property Management Department. “Our efforts to establish quality vertical control are a piece of the puzzle that can help protect people and their property.”

Boyle is heading the project and has devised a unique way to offset costs to the taxpayer: for the duration of the project, Boyle is offering individuals, businesses, clubs, organizations and corporate groups the chance to own a metallic piece of history.

Anyone interested may submit a request to purchase the naming rights to the benchmarks being installed around Manatee County. The top of the benchmarks are 3.5-inch aluminum disks designed to withstand the elements and the test of time. “Next available” disks are offered for $75. Site-specific disks cost $95.

For more information on the mapping project, call Boyle at (941) 708-7485 or visit