Mayor John G. Ducey honored Municipal Engineer Elissa Commins and Engineering Division employee Russell Harris for their recently being named recipients of awards from the New Jersey Association of Floodplain Managers. Mayor Ducey honored them at the November 13, 2017 Council Meeting and proclaimed a day in each of their honor.

Elissa Commins received the organization’s 2017 Floodplain Management Leadership Award and Russell Harris was named recipient of their 2017 Outstanding Local Floodplain Management Official Award.

Elissa Commins (center) receives her proclamation from Mayor Ducey (r) and is joined by Council President Art Halloran.

“We are very fortunate to have Elissa and Russell on the township staff. They are hard-working, dedicated and knowledgeable employees and they are an asset to our community,” said Mayor Ducey. “They put in countless hours to help Brick Township get in the Community Rating System and we are thrilled that they were recognized for their efforts.”

Elissa and Russell were both instrumental in the township’s acceptance into the National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating System. The National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System was implemented in 1990 as a voluntary program for recognizing and encouraging community floodplain management activities exceeding the minimizing NFIP standards. Under the CRS, flood insurance premiums rates are discounted to required community actions that reduce flood damage to insurable properties, strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the NFIP and encourage a comprehensive approach to floodplain management.

Russell Harris (center) with his Mayoral Proclamation.

As part the township’s efforts to get accepted into the CRS, the Engineer Department staff – led by Elissa and Russell – contacted the owners of 665 non-compliant structures in Brick Township, hosted workshops to provide assistance on mitigation of non-compliant structures, and conducted field inspections to encourage compliance as required in order for the Township to be eligible for the Program.

Acceptance into the CRS means that residents who have to pay flood insurance will see discounts on their premiums. The cumulative savings is $657,914 with an average of $200 per policy.

In honor of their awards and in recognition of their dedication and exemplary work, Mayor Ducey proclaimed November 14, 2017 as Elissa Commins Day and November 15, 2017 as Russell Harris Day in the Township of Brick.