Plaquemine homeowners can expect to see a significant rate reduction in their fire insurance premiums next year, city and state officials say, thanks to an improvement in the city’s fire rating.

The city’s fire rating has risen from a 3 to a 2, according to a news release.

“The Fire Department is rated every five years by the Property Insurance Association of Louisiana, and this rating helps determine property insurance costs,” Fire Chief Mackie Guillot said. “I want to thank the firefighters … and employees for their help and support. We worked hard to get this rating.”

Communities are graded by the Property Insurance Association of Louisiana on a 1 to 10 scale, with 1 being the highest rating.

Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance James Donelon said the rating improvement means fire insurance for a home valued at $150,000 in Plaquemine could drop from $1,167 annually to $1,141 a year starting Jan. 11.

The amount of the premium rate reduction will vary depending on the value of the property, the fire district where the property is located and the rate schedule of the company insuring the property, Donelon said.

Guillot described the rating process as an exhaustive one that includes testing of hoses and hydrants; reviewing fire departments’ record-keeping of maintenance; training; and equipment reviews and tests.

“More than $600,000 was spent on the new trucks,” Mayor Sue Gulotta said in a news release. “In addition, extensive equipment purchases have been made in the last several years. These investments in our residents’ safety are paying off.”

Food drive gets big boost

Performance Contractors and Dow Chemical Company employees gave the city of Plaquemine’s Holiday Food Drive a big boost by contributing eight barrels of food.

The companies also provided $400 in donations to be used for food purchases.

“The employees really got behind this effort and made those donations within two weeks,” Lin Rivet, Plaquemine selectman and Performance employee, said in a news release. “It took two trucks to get it all delivered to City Hall.”

The food will be donated to Our Brothers’ Keeper, a local organization that will distribute the food.

Christmas with the Arts

The Iberville Math, Science and Arts Academy-West Campus is hosting its Christmas with the Arts celebration Thursday at the campus’ Performing Arts Center.

The free event, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., will feature live performances, stocking races, karaoke, holiday games, cookie decorating, a petting zoo and arts and crafts. There will be photos with Santa and a tree lighting ceremony at 7 p.m.

Submit news to Terry Jones at (225) 326-6627 or tjones@theadvocate.com.