This spring, flood insurance will be a little less expensive for property owners in Colchester. That's due to the town's involvement in a hazard mitigation program through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Colchester was recently accepted into FEMA's Community Rating System, which provides incentives for floodplain management efforts.
"The CRS is a voluntary incentive program that encourages a wide-ranging approach to floodplain management with the goal of reducing property damages and losses due to flooding," an announcement from the town states. "Residents of towns that participate in CRS pay reduced flood insurance premiums, which are discounted in 5 percent increments based on the level of flood protection each community has achieved."
Communities participating in the Community Rating System receive ratings ranging from 10 to one. The lower the rating, the larger the discount on federal flood insurance. Colchester is the fourth Vermont municipality to join FEMA's Community Rating System. When it officially enters the program in May, Colchester will have a rating of eight, which translates to a 10 percent discount on flood insurance.
Bennington, Brattleboro and Montpelier also participate in the program. All three of those communities have a rating of nine and receive a 5 percent flood insurance premium discount.
"Communities raise their CRS rating via their achievements in four categories: Information, Mapping and Regulations, Flood Damage Reduction, and Flood Preparedness," the Colchester announcement states. "Town staff will look to further increase our CRS rating over time through additional floodplain management activities."