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      Flood insurance rates going up

      Monday morning Dougherty County Commissioners were filled in on information about a new law that's making flood insurance go up for county and city residents.Under the National Flood Insurance Program, homeowners in flood zones will have their flood insurance increased by five percent.Businesses and rental properties will see an increase of 25 percent each year until they reach full value of claims.This affects properties that were built before 1978. Properties built after that are built up to standard.Planning and Services Director Paul Forgey says the 25 percent raises will last for about four or five years.These raises are put in place as a way to decrease FEMA's deficit and build up the reserve.Officials say flood claim reserve funding is low because of many natural disasters.People living in flood zones were given subsidies so that their insurance wouldn't be high but now those federal subsidies are being cut out.Officials say its likely that rental rates will go up because of the insurance raises.The increases kicked in on October 1st, 2013.

      Also in Monday's Dougherty County Commission meeting, leaders voted to implement a new Criminal Justice Information System.

      This means that law enforcement and emergency management agencies will be able to use the same software to share information.

      Instead of having to call and check other agencies, each department can go into the database.

      Officials say this will not only speed up the justice process but it will increase public safety.