Stafford Council members want homeowners already saddled with steep rebuilding costs to have one thing taken off their full plate: crippling insurance rate hikes.
At its Tuesday meeting, the council endorsed efforts to get Congress to delay National Flood Insurance Premium rate increases.
Local congressman such as Reps. Jon Runyan and Frank LoBiondo signed a letter that says rates could rise dramatically by Oct. 1, "an increase the families in our districts can't afford," if Congress does nothing to delay the hikes.
The increases stem from the federal Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, which calls on the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other agencies to make a number of changes to the way the National Flood Insurance Program is run.
Key provisions of the legislation will require the NFIP to raise rates to reflect true flood risk and make the program more financially stable, according to FEMA's website.
Echoing the lawmakers' claims in the letter, Mayor John Spodofora said local communities would like more time to recover, and possibly challenge any rate hikes before they're imposed.
He said that allowing such increases to occur without getting feedback from local communities "seems ridiculous."
"Let everyone have their opportunity to challenge before raising the rates," Spodofora said.