At the Aug. 12 City Council meeting, the Insurance Services Office (ISO) officially presented the Katy Fire Department with an ISO Class 1 Rating.
The ISO is a nationwide property and casualty assessment insurance organization that monitors statistical data to assign a numeric score to agencies that respond to insurance risks, such as fire departments.
The evaluation assesses considerations like response times, personnel, and equipment in their ranking designations. As a result of this ranking, insurance rates across Katy will go down. Chief Russell Wilson accepted the award saying, “This is indeed an honor. It took a lot of teamwork to get this, which translates into cost savings on insurance rates for our citizens.”
Hugh Gibson, a representative from the ISO, presented the award to Wilson and the first responders of Katy.
According to Gibson, the ISO rates over 40,000 municipal fire districts across the nation. Of those 40,000, only 373 have earned a Class 1 ranking.
The ranking observes 100 metric points for the ranking. “It’s a combination of looking at the whole fire protection system in a city starting from when someone calls 911 for a structure fire,” said Gibson. “What happened- how did they get the fire department from dispatch? When the fire department does respond, what they do at the scene. What kind of personnel they have, and when they get to the scene, what kind of water is available.”
Wilson reported that he knew of a Katy business that had seen their insurance rates go up $10,000 recently, but with the new ISO ranking, the rates went back down to what they were before.
Prior to the Class 1 ranking, Katy Fire Department had a Class 2 ranking.
City Council highlights:
- After repeated debate over the appointment of Chris Harris as mayor pro tem, Harris requested that voting on the appointment be moved to the Sept. 23 council meeting. City council had originally been divided on the issue due to concerns about replacing current mayor pro tem Durran Dowdle before the passage of the new budget.
- The city council approved the special permit for the convalescent home to be located at 25660 Kingsland Boulevard. The permit was previously approved by the City Planning & Zoning Commission.
- The council approved an amendment to City Zoning Ordinance No. 621 in consideration of the aesthetics of the new businesses coming into the downtown area. Specifically, current business owners requested that any new businesses maintain certain architectural guidelines to maintain a cohesive look for the area. “Protecting Old Katy’s charm is something that we have to do,” said Council Member Frank Carroll. Carroll also noted that the area will have special considerations for the types of businesses that will be allowed to occupy the space. “(The ordinance) prohibits sexually-oriented businesses, and it’s adding to that self-storage facilities, bait shops, liquor stores and tattoo shops for this downtown area,” he explained.