Are your flood insurance bills pretty high? There's a new program in Monmouth County that can help soften the burden.

The Monmouth County Board of County Commissioners are launching a floodplain management software for 17 towns who are currently participating in the National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System.

We step back into 2020 for a second here as that's when Monmouth County was awarded a $125,000 New Jersey Department of Community Affairs LEAP Challenge Grant for CRS management software and the Commissioner’s used the grant money, along with $104,000 in CARES Act funding, to acquire the Forerunner’s Floodplain Management Platform, to manage the floodplain compliance and outreach in communities.

"We're pretty confident that as this flourishes more, it's going to give the ability for other towns to jump on board and I think it's going to be something that's going to be a real good planning tool for municipalities to reduce flood insurance premiums for their residents," Monmouth County Commissioner Director Tom Arnone tells Townsquare Media News.

There are 17 towns with flood prone areas who are receiving this software to address flooding and save you money on your flood insurance bills in the process.

"We know that flooding causes an enormous amount of property damage to homes and recently the coastal flooding events in the county caused an estimated $10-billion dollars in damage," Arnone said.

The funding will help this program software get off the ground and serve a two-fold effort of boosting aid for municipalities and for homeowners.

"It will allow municipalities who participate (in the program) and more importantly, the homeowners, to see very competitive insurance quotes because it becomes extremely difficult to get accurate quotes," Arnone said. "I encourage towns to jump on board. It's a real benefit and is effective in dealing with the mitigation flood risk plan and it gives the ability that better scores results in lowering flood insurance premiums for residents."

If you're on board and want more information or work for a town that may be interested in hopping on board the train, contact the Monmouth County Office of Shared Services and the Planning Department.

The town's planner and engineer would need to supply all the data and information to the county planning board.

"Then we move forward," Arnone said.

The sooner, the better with the plan as Arnone explains it's possible to see benefits from this program in 2021.

"I would definitely think so, as long as the plan is completed in that municipality and obviously that's apart of the individual municipality sharing the data that they have so it could be implemented into a master mitigation plan," Arnone said.

Towns who are participating in the program will be able to use the Forerunner CRS management software for free for three years.

You can learn more information about the Monmouth County CRS Assistance Program, at www.visitmonmouth.com.

You can follow Vin Ebenau on Twitter and Instagram and email news tips to vin.ebenau@townsquaremedia.com.

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