HED:Iuka fire rating dropping
By Jane Clark Summers
Daily Journal Corinth Bureau
IUKA - A recent reduction in Iuka's fire protection rating, from a Class 8 to a Class 7, means more to residents than just improved fire protection.
For the average homeowner, the new classification also means a reduction in insurance premiums.
Iuka Mayor David Nichols said, "We had a full-time fire department but we reorganized it to make it more professional," Nichols said. "In the process, our goal was to lower our fire rating and increase fire safety and preparedness."
Depending on the insurance carrier, homeowners should realize a reduction of from 15 to 23 percent, he said.
The new rating affects people within the city limits but also affects some residents outside the city limits that draw on Iuka's classification, Nichols said. A survey with one insurance company indicated that people within a five-mile radius of town will benefit from the reduction, he said.
For the average homeowner, whose premium for maximum coverage is about $500 a year, the savings could amount to about $100, Nichols said. In most cases, this savings could be more than the amount the residents pay in city property taxes, the mayor said. With Iuka's 14-mill tax levy, the savings should pay the tax bill, he said.
"But the important thing to me is that we have a more professional fire department," Nichols said. "They are better trained, better qualified, more attuned to fire safety. Hopefully, because of that, the public will be better served so that fires, that may have happened in the first place, may never happen because of better fire safety, fire prevention and fire preparedness.
"In the event that a fire does happen, our fire department now is of such professional quality, that they will walk inside that burning house to save your life, your child's life and most probably, save your property because they are more dedicated and better trained," Nichols said.
The mayor commended the fire department for accomplishing the goals. "All the credit goes to the fire department and those firemen who were willing to take the steps needed to get it done," Nichols said.