VENTNOR — The city has improved its Community Rating System score from Class 6 to Class 5, putting it on par with other Downbeach communities and providing additional savings for residents on the cost of flood insurance.

Mayor Beth Holtzman said the new rate class offers a 25 percent discount on the cost of premiums for the National Flood Insurance Program starting May 1, 2018.

“This was a team effort,” the mayor said in a press release.

She thanked city employees who worked on “credible activities,” such as improving public information, mapping flood zones, flood damage reduction and establishing a warning and response system for flooding events, and planner Jim Rutala of Rutala and Associates of Linwood, who led the reclassification effort.

The discount is based on the total number of points the city earned for conducting flood-prevention efforts. Each class-level improvement earns an additional 5 percent discount. A Class 9 community receives a 5 percent discount, while a Class 1 community receives a 45 percent discount.

In Atlantic County as of October, Atlantic City was rated at Class 9, and Brigantine, Longport and Margate were rated as Class 5.

The CRS assigns points for certain activities, such as outreach programs that educate the public about flood hazards and flood protection, mapping flood plains and developing new flood elevations, upgrading regulatory standards for new construction or house-raising projects, and providing early warnings to the public on flooding events.

The city is already working to improve to a Class 4 rating, which carries a 30 percent discount, Holtzman said.

A prerequisite to becoming Class 4 is to complete a watershed management plan. The city is part of a consortium of Absecon Island towns that has been awarded a Sustainable Jersey grant to complete the plan by early 2018.

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