Point Pleasant Beach, NJ
“For a shore town, resilience is critical. GovPilot’s digital forms enable residents and contractors to easily apply for floodplain permits and the platform has proven crucial to our town’s ability to meet reporting requirements set by FEMA, the State of New Jersey, and the Community Ratings Service.” For Point Pleasant’ Beach’s Construction Code official, Michael Thulen Jr. GovPilot has been a game changer in how the borough accepts, tracks, and inspects floodplain construction applications.
In October, 2021, FEMA instituted what it calls “Risk Rating 2.0” which updates the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) risk rating methodology. The methodology leverages industry best practices and cutting-edge technology to enable FEMA to deliver rates that are actuarilly sound, equitable, easier to understand and better reflect a property’s flood risk.
Municipalities must be able to report to their state and to FEMA, updates and status of any parcel located within a flood zone, and must require permitting for any building and construction, or hazards on these properties.
With stringent reporting requirements from FEMA, the State of New Jersey and the Community Ratings Service, Point Pleasant Beach officials sought to improve their ability to report on flood risk to properties throughout the municipality. The municipality also wanted to make the application accessible online since many people live out of town but own secondary or rental properties in Point Pleasant Beach.
Officials turned to GovPilot to provide an end-to-end digital floodplain construction application that would allow them to inspect and report on those properties quickly, rather than creating an inefficient paper process. This included the ability to report all items, dollar amounts, prior approvals, conduct inspections and track inspections results in order to be in compliance - none of which could not be done readily prior to GovPilot.
Point Pleasant Beach’s Construction Department implemented GovPilot in August 2021, just prior to FEMA’s 2.0 implementation. Officials wanted to be able to comply with new regulations and have the ability to produce reports at a moment’s notice.
GovPilot’s Flood Plain Application is an end-to-end digital application which enables residents and contractors to quickly and easily report any construction projects or hazards such as firewood piles or above ground tanks to the municipality so that inspectors can visit the site and approve or deny quickly.
In the first month of implementing GovPilot’s Flood Plain Application, Point Pleasant Beach received 125 new flood plain applications and expects at least 75 new applications per month moving forward.
Prior to GovPilot, the only way permit applications could be tracked was through uniformed construction permits. Now the municipality has its own dedicated online Flood Plain application, approval process, and comprehensive reporting mechanism which saves hours of manual work for employees, enabling them to take on higher-level tasks and projects.
With GovPilot, Point Pleasant Beach officials can quickly file Community Ratings Service (CRS - Part of NFIP) reports on number of new homes constructed, number of homes demoed, number of structures elevated, and other important hazards such as number of swimming pools, firewood stacks, playgrounds, and garbage receptacles.
Interested in emergency management and flood resilience? Read our blog post, Disaster Preparedness: How Local Governments Build Resilient Communities