MIDDLETOWN – Middletown will be another step closer to participating in the Community Rating System once local officials meet with Federal Emergency Management Agency representatives next month. The voluntary incentive program provides participating communities with flood insurance discounts for property owners.

FEMA representatives will review the township’s flood management program book during the meeting. The site visit is the latest step in a lengthy application review process. Middletown has been working with FEMA since January 2009 when the township notified the agency of the township’s intention to participate in the program.

“I’m glad we’ve made it to the next step,” said Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger. “Participation in the Community Rating System will provide homeowners obligated to get flood insurance as a condition of their mortgage some welcome relief.”

Activities and programs for which the township is seeking credit includes amending building codes to comply with Federal Emergency Management Agency regulations, fine-tuning computerized maps of flood zones, creating a library of flood prevention information for property owners at the Middletown library, and dissemination of family emergency preparedness information, said Township Administrator Anthony Mercantante.

Communities receive credit for what they have done in the year prior to the application’s submission. Flood insurance rates are discounted in increments of 5 percent based on a number of creditable activities undertaken by the community such as public information, mapping and regulations, flood damage reduction and flood preparedness.