MRPC News Release

For immediate release
May 27, 2016

For more information, contact
Tammy Snodgrass at (573) 265-2993 or

Thinking about a construction or renovation project in Maries County? You may need a floodplain development permit
Second of a three-part series

MARIES COUNTY—Maries County does not have a building codes program that requires a permit. However, you may need a floodplain development permit, if you are planning construction or substantial improvements to a structure located in a floodplain within Maries County. This includes rehab work to homes that have been flooded.

“Part of the process of being part of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is understanding the process and ensuring the county and residents are in compliance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and NFIP regulations,” said Ray Schwartze, Maries County presiding commissioner. “Participating in the program gives residents prior information to know they are building in a floodplain so they can design to help minimize damage in case of flooding.”

Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) administers the county’s floodplain management program and serves as the county’s floodplain coordinator.

“If you are planning to build any type of structure or improve existing structures, you need to determine if you are in a floodplain, and we can provide floodplain maps to help you do that,” said Tammy Snodgrass, MRPC assistant director and environmental programs manager. “If your lending institution is requiring you to purchase flood insurance, that is a good indication that you may be in an area susceptible to flooding, and you most definitely need to contact us,” Snodgrass added. “The sooner you find out, the better.”

By providing FEMA floodplain maps, MRPC helps property owners determine whether a floodplain development permit is needed. If a permit is needed, the property owner will need to fill out an application, and the administrator will provide detailed specifications that would need to be followed for construction in the floodplain.

“For example, the lowest floor of the planned project may need to be elevated or you may have to forego a basement, because no basements are allowed in a floodplain,” Snodgrass said.

Once the administrator has provided the specification information, construction can begin. The administrator will then follow up by requiring an elevation certificate.

“An elevation certificate documents the elevation of the lowest floor of the structure and certifies compliance with federal regulations,” Snodgrass said.

“The main goal is to make people aware they are building in a floodplain and how they can protect themselves,” Schwartze said.

If structures are out of compliance with NFIP, the entire county could lose its ability to participate in the flood insurance program. That would mean no one owning property in Maries County would be able to purchase flood insurance, Snodgrass said.

Schwartze encourages residents to contact MRPC with any questions, especially residents that are planning summer building projects.

For more information on floodplain regulations in Maries County, persons should contact Snodgrass at MRPC at 573-265-2993 or email

Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. A professional staff of 23, directed by the MRPC board, offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.

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