Recognized by two national organizations

FREEHOLD, NJ – Monmouth County’s Community Rating System (CRS) Assistance Program has been recognized by two national organizations, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Association of Counties (NACo).

NOAA announced that MonmouthCounty will receive the 2014 Walter B. Jones Memorial Award for Excellence in Local Government for the Community Rating System (CRS) Assistance Program.

“It is an honor for MonmouthCounty to be recognized on a national level for a program that stemmed from a way to help our residents recover from a horrible storm,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Serena DiMaso, liaison to the County’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM). “In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, our towns needed to get fully engaged in flood hazard mitigation and better understand the CRS and how it can help the community and the residents save money.”

The County’s Division of Planning joined with the Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Management to create the CRS Assistance Program.

“By combining knowledge and resources, Planning and OEM have been able to provide support and education to municipalities and County residents that will help them to be prepared for future emergency situations,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the Division of Planning. “This program has tangible results which include lower flood premiums for homeowners and businesses.”

“I am proud that MonmouthCounty is the recipient of such a deserving honor,” said Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden. “OEM does an exceptional job of serving the community and the CRS Assistance Program, done in collaboration with the Division of Planning, is another example of that.”

By participating in the program, a town can earn CRS points that can be used to lower the flood insurance premiums for homeowners and businesses located within designated flood hazard areas.

NACo also recognized the County’s CRS Assistance Program by featuring it as a best practice in a Coastal Resiliency County Case Studies publication released in late 2014.

The NACo case study recognized the County’s challenge in getting towns to be part of the CRS process because many towns lacked to the technical, financial and administrative capacity to navigate the intricacies of the in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) CRS.

MonmouthCounty created the CRS Assistance Program early in 2014 to provide assistance to municipalities that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) CRS. The NFIP administers the CRS which scores towns on their effectiveness in dealing with the mitigation of flood hazard events.

Providing towns with mapping services was particularly important, as the County was able to create open space and base flood elevation Geographic Information Systems (GIS) map templates so that CRS maps required for one town could easily be replicated for other towns. As this project falls under the Monmouth County Planning Division’s organizational mission, there was no additional cost incurred to provide these services to municipalities.

When a municipality applies and is accepted into the CRS program, flood insurance premiums for residents and businesses located in special flood hazard areas can be reduced. 

For a complete list of guidelines please visit the Monmouth County Division of Planning section of the County website at www.visitmonmouth.com.

Residents having questions or needing additional information about CRS should contact their local Floodplain Administrator through their municipal office.

The County recently announced that OEM will partner with FEMA and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to offer two Flood Risk Open House meetings in MonmouthCounty. The meetings will be offered on Thursday, Feb. 19 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Manasquan Elks Lodge #2534 at 17 Stockton Lake Blvd. in Manasquan and Friday, Feb. 20 from 4 to 8p.m. at Henry Hudson Regional High School Cafetorium at 1 Grand Tour in Highlands.

The purpose of these open house meetings is to provide updates to the flood hazard maps, known as Flood Insurance Rate Maps, answer flood risk and insurance questions and explain the preliminary flood hazard maps.