WINONA – Homeowners in the City of Winona could see a three to seven percent reduction in homeowner’s insurance due to an improvement in the city’s fire rating.
According to Chief Brad Mooneyham, on September 15, Winona’s fire rating improved from a seventh class to a sixth class. Notice of the change was sent to Mooneyham by the Mississippi State Rating Bureau.
Mooneyham said the improvement is based on the Winona Fire Department’s response time as well as the number of firefighters responding to the scene.
“From the time we get the [fire] call to the time we leave the station is less than two minutes, or I am asking them why,” Mooneyham said.
Mooneyham said the Winona Fire Department has been working to improve the city’s fire rating for some time. The department holds monthly trainings for its nine fulltime firefighters and eight volunteers, and it performs annual pump tests to ensure its trucks are certified to “do what they are supposed to do.”
The city’s fire rating is based entirely on calls concerning structural fires and water flow to extinguish those fires. Currently, the city is waiting for news of its grant application, with the funds going to construct a new elevated water tower and dig a new well at the Interstate 55/Highway 82 corridor. The $3.5 million dollar project, if funded, will likely serve all water customers on the west side of Highway 51. The project will also improve water pressure, a factor considered in establishing the fire rating.
“It is possible to drop [our rating] lower than that,” Mooneyham said, in regards to the construction of the new water tower and new water well.
Winona Mayor Jerry Flowers said improving the Winona Fire Department’s ability to fight fires is one of the reasons the city sought grant funds to improve the city’s water system. He commended the Winona Fire Department for its hard work in improving the city’s fire rating.
“I am very proud of Chief Brad Mooneyham and our outstanding firefighters for their great work,” Flowers said. “The City of Winona is constantly working to improve the lives of our citizens, whether it be paving roads or not raising taxes. We are trying to give the citizens of Winona a better quality of life.”