The US Federal Emergency Management Agency has upgraded the city to Class 6 in the National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System.
That means city residents will be eligible for a 20% discount on flood insurance premiums for most NFIP policies issued or renewed on or after October 1, according to a letter the city received from the FEMA.
“These savings are the tangible result of the flood mitigation activities your community implements to protect lives and reduce property damage,” wrote William Lesser, CRS coordinator for the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, in a letter to the city.
Update: Flooding should now affect areas within the Great Falls city limits 
The upgrade is the result of field verification for the city’s five-year cycle verification.
The classifications are based on 19 commendable activities, organized into four categories:
- public information
- cartography and regulations
- reduced flood damage
- warning and response
The 20% premium discount is for properties located in special flood zones, as designated by FEMA. According to FEMA, those who are not in the special flood-risk areas can get a discount of up to 10%, since those premiums are usually already lower.
The CRS rating automatically renews each year as long as there are no NFIP non-compliance actions, according to FEMA, and as long as the community continues to implement the activities in its annual recertification documentation.
If there is no change, the city will have its next verification visit on the established five-year cycle, according to FEMA.
“I commend you for your community actions and your determination to lead your community to be more disastrous
wearing. This commitment enhances public safety, property protection, protects natural floodplain functions, and reduces flood insurance premiums,” Lesser wrote in his letter to the city.
City manager Greg Doyon told The Electric that credit for the improved rating goes to Lonnie Hill, an urban planner, and Charlie Sheets, who recently retired as a floodplain administrator in the city.
“They have worked diligently to provide the necessary documentation demonstrating the city’s compliance with FEMA floodplain requirements,” Doyon said.