FAIRFIELD, NJ — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently informed the township of Fairfield that any new home that is sold in the community must have an elevation certificate in order for residents who live in the flood plain to receive a 20-percent discount on their flood insurance, according to Fairfield Township Administrator Joseph Catenaro.

Catenaro announced at Monday's township council meeting that any new home by definition in Fairfield is a home built after 1975.

The dilemma, he said, is whether the buyer or the seller will be required to pay for the elevation certificate, which is estimated to cost approximately $850.

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Members of the council said they believe the cost can be a hardship for an older seller, but also said that if the buyer does not receive the elevation certificate, about 2,000 Fairfield homeowners who live in the township’s flood plain will suffer if FEMA pulls back the 20-percent discount.

Catenaro said the township is looking into recommending at least three different engineering companies that will provide Fairfield residents with a reduction in the cost of the certificate of elevation.

Township Attorney Dennis Galvin also said he would look into how other municipalities are dealing with this stipulation.

In other news, the mayor and council also passed two ordinances affecting zoning. Click HERE to read the story.