Piggott attempts to lower ISO

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Piggott is working to lower its ISO rating, which will result in a savings on property insurance premiums. ISO ratings assessment personnel were in Piggott last Wednesday to evaluate the city's fire fighting and water supply capabilities.

Chief John Harlan of the Piggott Fire Department said Piggott is currently at 6, a rating it has held since 1994 when the last assessment was completed.

"We've learned a lot from that first rating that we've applied to this one," Assistant Chief Barry Johnson said.

Harlan said the inspection of the fire department's equipment, training, records, etc., is 50 percent of the assessment with 40 percent based on the water department and 10 percent on communication abilities.

He said it is hoped Clay County's E-911 system will be a boost to the current assessment.

"We had pagers during the last one, but we didn't have 911," Harlan said.

Christopher Lummus, manager with Community Mitigation Services of Austin, Texas, said the 911 system "should provide substantial credit" to Piggott's current assessment.

Mayor Gerald Morris said he feels confident the city's rating will be lowered to 5 and hopes it may even go as low as 4.

He said cautioned residents against expecting a big reduction in insurance premiums. He said there will be some reduction, but the most visible result will be a smaller increase in insurance company rates.

Regardless of the assessment's outcome, Lummus said he and Gordon will continue to work with Piggott to lower its rating.

Gordon said most towns will stay the same or improve slightly. He said less than one percent "go backwards" on their ISO ratings.

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