Three city owned properties located in flood zones will cost the city $18,828 per year on flood insurance, according to a resolution before the city council.
The three properties: Van Houten House, a historic building that has been called the oldest building structure in the city; the northern branch of the city’s library located on North Main Street; and 114 Totowa Avenue. 56 North Main Street, the location of the flooded-out library, will cost $14,363; Van Houten House, located inside Westside Park, will cost 3,271; and 114 Totowa Avenue will cost $1,194. The total $18,828.
Flood insurance for all three properties will be provided by the Selective Insurance Company of America, a Branchville based company. The company was handpicked by the Federal Emergency Management Agency after it was determined that these three properties were at risk of being flooded. “FEMA determined that Selective Insurance Company of America will be the vendor to be utilized for flood insurance by the city,” according to the resolution.
Currently all three city-owned properties are unused and empty. The library has been vacant since 2011 when Hurricane Irene inundated the interior; the Van Houten House, used as a sports hall of fame, bears graffiti and appears to be out of operation; not much is known of 114 Totowa Avenue.
The company must disclose whether it made any contribution to the campaigns of any city officials prior to completing any transaction with the city; it will also be barred from making any political contribution to individuals running for office in the city.