LITTLE FALLS, NJ - The Township of Little Falls has received a Class 5 rating under the Community Rating System (CRS) and all residents who are required to maintain flood insurance will now enjoy a 25 percent discount on their flood insurance premiums in the Flood Zone. According to Mayor James Damiano, the improvement comes over the previous Class 6 rating, where a 20 percent reduction was realized by residents.
"Each owner, who would have paid an average flood insurance premium of $2,158 per year prior to joining the CRS program, will now pay only $1,484," said Damiano, adding it will be effective this October.
As a part of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) under FEMA, the CRS is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP requirements. It results in the discount of flood insurance premium rates to reflect the reduced flood risk resulting from the community meeting certain NFIP goals.The Class 5 rating stays in effect for a three-year period before it comes up for review and is the direct result of flood mitigation activities by the Township aimed to protecting lives and reducing property damage.
Additionally, he said that as a Class 5 community, the Township now joins an elite group of only three other non-coastal Class 5 communities in this state who pay some of the lowest flood insurance rates "east of the Mississippi River." He also said that it was an incredible achievement for the Township.
"While unofficial, the professionals in this field have indicated that this is the highest rating that the Township could ever expect to achieve," Damiano emphasized, adding that residents themselves will save $192,830 per year in flood insurance, which has improved from a Class 9 rating in 2009, where residents then received only a 5 percent discount, to a Class 5 in 2020.
"This is especially important during this difficult time," he explained, referring to COVID-19 pandemic.
Damiano also noted that the Township's Building Department, which maintains this rating, will now be reviewed in person every three years to show all implemented programs are being maintained.
"I would like to thank our Building Official James DiMaria, Sgt. Dan Gianduso as our OEM Coordinator, and Nick Agnoli who has acted as our engineering consultant, who all played a vital role in reaching this top rating," he said.