If there was one part of the city council meeting, where the Aldermen, Perryville City Administrator Brent Buerck and everyone else in the rrom was universally happy, it was when the city’s ISO rating was revealed Nov. 7.
Buerck said the new ISO rating is a three, which made the city officials very happy.
“We were at a 4, which we thought was the best that we could do for a community such as ours,” Buerck said. “To be at a 3 now lessens the burden of our homeowners.”
The ISO rating goes from 1, which is the best, to a 10, which is the worst. It helps determine what homeowners pay in terms of insurance each year. Buerck said there are several factors that go into the ISO rating each year, one of them being building codes, which the city made better earlier this year.
In the past, the city would get a letter saying that unless Perryville updates its building codes, the ISO rating would change. This past year, the city got the same letter, that stated that the city did not update its building codes so the ISO rating was changed to a 9.
The city worked feverishly to update its codes to keep the ISO rating low.
The rating is based on several factors including firehouses and their location, fire equipment, waterlines and ability to flow high volumes of water from hydrants, type of fire departments and frequency of people to be at the firehouses, and building codes.
“Moving from a 4 to the 9 would have had a marked increase on insurance rates,” Buerck said.
Perryville adopted the new building codes and that coupled with the new firehouses that were built in strategic locations to provide better coverage, efforts to better the water flow by upsizing water mains from four to six inches, and other things, make it so that the ISO rating is even better than it was before.
The savings on houses in the community are about $1,000 savings for a $150,000 house and nearly $1,500 for a $350,000 house.
“There are 4,000 houses in this community and that’s a savings of $4 million or more,” Buerck said. “In my time here I don’t ever remember us ever being less than a four. That’s a testament to the city and our commitment to fire protection. Full-time fire departments strive to get a four.”