The Asbury Park Press has an interesting Topic of the Day: FEMA and floodplain management.
Below, Anthony Fiore comments on the issues.
Residents of the Bayshore were recently informed of proposed changes to the flood map provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Under the new designations, hundreds of homeowners, including more than 1,800 in Middletown alone, will be required to obtain flood insurance as a separate insurance coverage.
As a result, homeowners will be forced to pay hundreds if not thousands of dollars per year in annual premiums to obtain the coverage. All of this is due to the fact FEMA has decided the levee created and maintained by the federal government “may” be substandard.
I oppose the new flood map designations for two reasons.
First, it should be the responsibility of the Federal Government to address any problems with its levee system. Why should residents have to acquire flood insurance for a “potential” problem that could be remedied by the Federal Government fixing its own levee? As taxpayers, we pay enough in federal income taxes to expect the Government will maintain its own systems. Any “solution” to ignore the problem and pass the potential costs off to the residents of the area is unacceptable.
Second, we live in an environment where energy prices continue to rise. We continue to see increases in our sales tax, property tax and tolls, thanks to Gov. Corzine and his cuts in aid to municipalities and continued unfunded mandates. During these difficult economic times, the last thing we need as residents and taxpayers is for the Federal Government to pass its responsibilities on this issue to us.
I commend Mayor Gerard Scharfenberger and Deputy Mayor Pamela Brightbill for vowing to fight for Bayshore residents of Middletown to oppose this new proposal. As a resident of Belford, I urge all residents and neighbors to join the opposition to ensure our voices are heard on this issue.