MIDDLETOWN, NJ –The Middletown Township Committee is calling for changes in recent flood insurance reforms before premiums unfairly skyrocket in coastal communities such as North Middletown.

The Township Committee unanimously adopted a resolution at the November meeting calling for the reform or repeal of the Biggert-Waters. Biggert-Waters one-size-fits-all approach raises National Flood Insurance Premiums (NFIP) regardless of local flood protection infrastructure that has been proven to be effective even during historic storms such as Superstorm Sandy, the resolution states.

Local officials have also been in contact with Congressional leaders and other federal officials, urging them to act expeditiously in establishing flood insurance premiums that accurately and fairly reflect risk, Mayor Gerard P. Scharfenberger said. The extraordinary rate hikes currently slated to take effect will be financially devastating to well-established communities such as North Middletown.

“We need to hold our legislators feet to the fire and not let up one bit,” said Mayor Gerard P. Scharfenberger, noting he and Committeeman Anthony Fiore, who proposed the resolution, are planning to take the matter to Washington, DC. 

Thousands of Middletown homes in neighboring Port Monmouth, Belford and Leonardo were affected by historic flooding last year. However, North Middletown, where Ideal Beach is located, did not receive any flooding during Superstorm Sandy thanks to an adequate flood control system. Despite this fact the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform of 2012 will require residents there to raise their homes due to their elevation or face outlandish insurance premium increases, explained Committeeman Anthony P. Fiore.

Making matters worse, residents who were unaffected by Superstorm Sandy are generally not eligible for financial assistance to raise their homes, but will be required to comply with FEMA’s building standards or face unfair and excessive insurance rate hikes, the resolution states.

Mayor Gerard P. Scharfenberger and Committeeman Anthony Fiore called for the resolution to be to provided to as many municipalities as possible, especially coastal communities. 

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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...