Berkeley Township Mayor, Council Oppose 18-25% Increases in Flood Insurance Premiums

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BERKELEY TOWNSHIP-Since Superstorm Sandy struck the Jersey Shore in 2012, Berkeley Township’s Mayor Carmen Amato and the township have been working hard to ensure the residents of the community received discounts under the National Flood Insurance Programs Community Rating Systems (CRS).

The National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP.  Berkeley and other Jersey Shore communities invested heavily to achieve a rating with the NFIP that provided residents with a 20% discount.

Now, an 18-25% increase by the NFIP will wipe out those savings for homeowners.

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“Berkeley NJ has thousands of homes situated in the flood plain and the planned increases will destroy values of these homes, will force many into foreclosure and will shrink the tax ratables to our town,” said Mayor Carmen Amato.

“We spent considerable funds to achieve one of the largest Flood Insurance discounts (20% CRS discount) for our residents, unfortunately, it will be negated by the massive increases. Councilman Jim Byrnes stated.

Last week, Amato and the council voted to pass a resolution protesting the federal government’s premium hikes and urged other towns across New Jersey to support their opposition to the increases.

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“We urge other Mayors across the country to pass similar resolutions and forward them to your congressmen and Senators,” Amato said. “All residents living in a flood zone are encouraged to contact their Senators and congressmen and let them know that 18% – 25% Increases are Unaffordable.”

The resolution was approved by  Councilmembers James Byrnes, John Bacchione, Keith Buscio, Angelo Guadagno, Judy Noonan and Sophia Gingrich.