TOMS RIVER-TomsÂ River Councilman George Wittman and Councilwoman Maria Maruca have announced the Township of Toms River has joined in the fight, alongside Berkeley Township Mayor Carmen Amato to oppose a proposed major hike in the National Flood Insurance Program.
Earlier this month, Amato led the charge against the 18-25% increase.Â Now, Toms River has joined him.
â€œWeâ€™re asking them to go back to the drawing board,â€ Wittman said.
â€œThe National Flood Insurance Programâ€™s (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP.Â Berkeley and other Jersey Shore communities invested heavily to achieve a rating with the NFIP that provided residents with a 20% discount,â€ Berkeley Mayor Amato said. â€œBerkeley 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.â€
â€œWe 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. Berkeley Township Councilman Jim Byrnes said back when Berkeley approved the same measure.
Amato went one step further, calling on all affected New Jersey communities to oppose the rate increase.
â€œWe urge other Mayors across the country to pass similar resolutions and forwardÂ them to your congressmen and Senators,â€ Amato said. â€œAll residents living in a flood zone are encouraged to contact their Senators and congressmen and let them know that 18% â€“ 25% Increases are Unaffordable.â€