Illinois town hopes its levee can be inspected, deemed safe

PRAIRIE DU ROCHER, Ill. (AP) — Leaders in a Mississippi River town that dates to the French colonial period hope the levee that protects the town can be successfully recertified to prevent insurance-cost increases.

Amy Barbeau is president of the Chamber of Commerce in Prairie Du Rocher. She told The Southern Illinoisan in Carbondale that the Federal Emergency Management Agency in December gave the town 18 months.

The levee was certified safe in 2004 but federal rules have since been tightened.

Village President Ray Cole said that without certification insurance costs would increase 10 to 15 times. New construction also would be barred.

Prairie Du Rocher is looking for ways to cover the $62,000 it needs to finish the work.