Mayor Frank Schaaf has a plan that could save homeowners as much as 20 percent a year in insurance premiums. And he says the cost is manageable for the city.


Mayor Frank Schaaf has a plan that could save homeowners as much as 20 percent a year in insurance premiums. And he says the cost is manageable for the city.

 

Discussions have begun to implement a plan that will lower the city’s Insurance Service Office rating. It currently stands at an 8/9 on a scale of 10 to 1, with 10 representing the highest risk factor. Wilson’s ISO is also one of the highest in the area.

 

“I want to strive to get us down to a 6,” Schaaf said. “If my memory serves me right, Healdton and Ringling are at a 6 and if they can do it, we can do it. What we are going to do is try very hard within the next year.”

 

It will take a team effort involving the Wilson Volunteer Fire Department to do its share of heavy lifting. Equipment will have to be tested and training will need to be upgraded. Fire Chief Jeff Stearns is beginning the process of finding out what will be required to lower the rating.

 

“I know we are going to get our pumps certified,” Stearns said. “We are going to have to get a hold of somebody that knows more about it.

 

“We mainly train in-house once a month and we have had equipment upgrades. At one time, we ran just one engine and now we have two.”

 

Stearns also noted the number of firefighters has increased in recent months from 15 to 18.

 

On the city’s part, there will need to be new hydrants as well as repairs on existing ones. The water system, as well as communications and 911 systems, are also factored into the rating.

 

“The most expensive part will be putting in hydrants,” Schaaf said. “We need to put four in on Idabel and Cimarron, but the good thing is we have 4,200 feet of water line out there. We will also need to flush the hydrants and test to see water flow as well as how much we are getting out of each hydrant.”

 

Schaaf noted funding for hydrants could be obtained through grants that Wilson is working toward in an application with Rural Water Resource Grant.

 

“We are hoping to tap in on that,” he said. “I believe that the hydrants are $800 each.”