AFD to make 'significant' disclosure

ALBANY -- Albany Fire Department Chief James Carswell will join other Albany and Dougherty County officials at a news conference this morning to make what Carswell is calling a "significant announcement" about Insurance Services Office ratings in the city and county.

"We have some good news that's going to positively impact most people in Albany and Dougherty County," Carswell said Tuesday. "It involves our ongoing efforts to improve ISO ratings in the city and county."

Carswell and AFD staff have spent more than three years working to improve the community's ratings, which determine insurance costs based on best practices that minimize fire damage and lower insurance claims. Albany now has a 3 ISO rating, which the fire chief said is a significant factor in individual property owners having the country's best rates, while the county has a 4 rating.

"Our ultimate goal has been to reach a 1 rating, but as we've said all along, the stars would have to align, the moon would have to be full and everything else would have to fall into place for that to happen," Carswell said. "Sometimes you have to weigh costs versus benefits."

Expected to attend today's 10:30 a.m. news conference, which will be held at the fire department's 320 N. Jackson St. station, are Albany Mayor Willie Adams, Dougherty County Commission Chair Jeff Sinyard, City Manager Alfred Lott, County Administrator Richard Crowdis and officials with both the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce and the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission.

Carswell said some business owners who will be "significantly impacted" by the ISO announcement will also be on hand.