Last winter, the Federal Emergency Management Agency effectively blocked all new development there until the basin’s flood risk was reduced. But earlier this year, the city transferred 35 home permits from their original properties to new ones – a violation of FEMA rules.
Top officials told city council members at last night’s meeting that they were bringing in an outside firm to investigate. Assistant City Manager John Dangberg says the city is very concerned.
Dangberg: “There were some troubling discoveries about fees and some of the instructions that were given to field staff. And we’d like to have an outside third party investigator look at it.”
Officials say the outside firm will complete its report within three weeks. The city also plans to audit the development department.
The employee who issued the permits is Dan Waters, the son of city councilman Robbie Waters. The younger Waters is now on paid leave – along with the department’s head, Bill Thomas.