LA MARQUE — In an effort to keep insurance rates for residents from going up, La Marque’s city council approved allocating money to hire a fire marshal.
In a unanimous vote Monday, the council approved allocating nearly $85,000 to the Fire Department to spend on hiring a fire marshal, along with other training and equipment costs.
The city’s Public Protection Classification rating is set to rise two points from a 3 to a 5, in a 10-point scale, after an inspection by the Insurance Services Office, a New York-based organization that serves the insurance industry. That would mean a possible 6 percent to 7 percent increase in insurance premiums for residents.
La Marque Fire Chief Gerald Grimm told council last week that by taking certain steps, such as hiring a fire marshal, the city would likely only drop to a 4 rating. That would likely mean an increase of only 1.7 percent to 2 percent to local insurance premiums, according to the Texas Department of Insurance website.
“There are several steps that we are going to have to take to (achieve a rating of 4) but the largest, and, of course, the one that needs to be budgeted, would be the fire marshal position,” said La Marque Mayor Bobby Hocking.