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April 17, 2014

Re: Workshop on FEMA’s Community Rating System (CRS)

At the request of U.S. Senator Robert Menendez I am forwarding you the following invitation.

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

Dear Mayor:

I am writing to invite you and your relevant staff to a workshop on April 24th, designed to help municipalities navigate and participate in FEMA’s Community Rating System (CRS), which provides premium discounts to entire municipalities that undertake comprehensive flood mitigation strategies. This workshop will enable you and your staff to interact with FEMA officials and flood mitigation experts to learn about the benefits of the CRS program as well as provide you with resources to either enter or expand your participation in the CRS program. To read more information about this valuable program, please visit FEMA’s website at: http://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program-community-rating-system.     

The CRS program is a great opportunity for your residents to earn rewards for taking responsible steps to improve resiliency and minimize flood damage. Communities that participate in the program receive discounts in flood insurance rates of five percent for every “Class” a community graduates to, with Class 1 communities receiving the maximum discount of 45 percent. Classes are based on a system that awards points for eighteen floodplain management activities, organized under four categories: Public Information, Mapping and Regulations, Flood Damage Reduction, and Flood Preparedness. The more points a town scores, the lower its CRS Class, and the greater the discount. 

There are a number of communities in New Jersey already taking advantage of this program, with the most successful reaching the level of Class 5, which affords residents a twenty-five percent discount on their annual flood insurance premiums. But despite these successes, there are many towns that do not participate in the program and others that are eligible for much larger discounts. The CRS workshops I am sponsoring will allow you to speak with FEMA officials and floodplain management experts to learn how to take full advantage of this opportunity. The first in a series of regional workshops will be held at the Brick Township Civic Plaza located at 270 Chambers Bridge Road, Brick, NJ on April 24th beginning at 2:30PM. Subsequent workshops will be held at later dates throughout the state in order to accommodate local officials and minimize travel time. 

As your representative in the United States Senate, I have made it my priority to help make flood insurance more affordable and accessible for all Americans. The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act [P.L. 113-89], which I introduced and led through Congress and into law, provides significant relief from skyrocketing premiums. Yet there is more work to be done. Reducing exposure to flood and keeping rates affordable is an issue that requires coordination at all levels of government.   I hope that you and your staff will be able to attend this workshop to learn more about the ways your residents can benefit from the CRS program. To secure a spot for you and your staff at the workshop in Brick Township, please RSVP to Zachary_Rynar@menendez.senate.gov no later than Monday, April 21, 2014. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Zachary Rynar (Zachary_Rynar@menendez.senate.gov) or Jason Tuber (Jason_Tuber@menendez.senate.gov) on my staff. 

I look forward to seeing you there. 

Sincerely,

Robert Menendez
United States Senator

 

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