FEMA Community Rating System

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) verbally informed the City of Bonita Springs, Lee County, and other local municipalities on Thursday March 28, 2024, that it was altering its assigned ratings that ensure residents have a 25% discount on their flood insurance. Bonita Springs has worked hard to receive a federal rating that resulted in saving taxpayers millions annually. Extensive efforts have been made to demonstrate to the federal government that the county and its city partners go above and beyond what is required to meet and exceed FEMA standards for the National Flood Insurance Program. 

The county and its municipal partners are committed to full transparency as it relates to the FEMA determination. Please click here to visit Lee County’s Page for more information

Bonita Springs City Council discussed the FEMA National Flood Insurance Program Determination during the regularly scheduled Bonita Springs City Council meeting at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 3rd.  Click Here to view the meeting.  The City Council unanimously approved a vote of confidence in city staff and the city manager. The council also approved the use of all means in the toolbox to be used to appeal the decision. The council appointed a council liaison and an alternate. 

Bonita Springs, Lee County, and other municipalities have met and continue to meet with Administrator Criswell and the FEMA floodplain management staff to prevent the Community Rating System retrograde and to maintain compliance with the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA has agreed to provide the municipalities and county with 30 days to provide more documentation to avoid this retrograde. City staff is working to submit additional information regarding the properties in the special flood hazard areas, providing information about the steps taken to remain in compliance with the National Flood Insurance Program. A request has been made to FEMA asking that they extend the original 30-day deadline.
 
During a joint meeting on Thursday April 11, 2024, Bonita Springs and partners requested an extension for the currently scheduled annual recertification process due May 1st.  FEMA granted an additional 90 days for the submittal of information for recertification. This is being done to allow the municipalities time to focus on the information and documents needed to avoid retrograde. Additional staff were requested to help support dialogue and document review over the 30-day period.   FEMA has deployed three additional FEMA staff members to supplement the two already in the area to be able to assist with gathering necessary information, answering questions, and handling data analytics and reporting during this time. 

Bonita Springs retained a Community Rating System consultant and executed an agreement to attain expert knowledge regarding the program and support further attempts to avoid retrograde. Bonita Springs is fully committed to transparency and submitting all required information during the 60-day period to avoid retrograde. 

Narrative
Communications
Toolkit
Flood Hazard Reduction Ordinance

Bonita Springs has submitted all requested documentation to FEMA. 

Stormwater Improvement