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She keeps a pretty low profile, but Christine Goldader has had a major impact on the lives of thousands of Minot residents.
As part of the City of Minot’s Engineering Department, Goldader has been one of the driving forces behind the effort to lower the cost of flood insurance premiums through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Community Rating System (CRS). During her four years with the City, Goldader was instrumental in Minot moving from a Class 8 rating, which brings a 10 percent discount on flood insurance premiums in the high risk flood plain, to a Class 6 rating, which brings a 20 percent discount on premiums.
City Engineer Lance Meyer said FEMA hasn’t officially signed off on the move to Class 6, but he’s not expecting anything to delay the decision. When Class 6 is in effect, the rate savings should be realized starting this fall. The difference means millions in cost savings for future flood insurance buyers.
“Christine’s work in moving the city to a Class 6 rating has made an enormous impact on a lot of residents in the high risk flood insurance category,” Meyer said. “She’s played a key role in the City of Minot achieving a Class 6 rating, and that rating has real life cost savings for thousands of residents.”
The impact of the soft-spoken Goldader will continue to be felt by those who purchase flood insurance in the future, even though she no longer works at the City of Minot. Her last day at Minot was June 18; after four years in Minot, she has taken a position with the City of Fargo’s storm water division.
When she came to the City of Minot four years ago “fresh out of college,” Goldader said she learned some of her job duties from previous employees as well as Meyer and other department employees. Other things related to the CRS she learned on her own.
Under the Community Rating System, communities earn points for accomplishing various activities, such as public outreach, flood plain property acquisitions, and preserving open space in a flood plain. The points translate to a classification, which can lead to discounts on flood insurance premiums.
“Some of it involves mapping, physically comparing old maps to new ones after flood acquisitions,” Goldader said. “We earn points by creating new outreach opportunities to the community, and by the information we provide to the public. Anyone can call and we can give them information about the current and future flood plain zones and what that means for their insurance or their building requirements. We help people decide whether they should build now or wait, or what elevation they should build at,” she said.
Goldader holds a civil engineering degree, and specifically studied environmental engineering. She used her education to do whatever it took to help Minot earn enough points to achieve the Class 6 rating.
“We don’t have a lot of people paying those high risk rates right now because most of the flood plain is confined to the river banks, but when the new maps become effective, most of the valley is going to be within the high risk flood plain,” she said. “That’s why it’s been so important for us to reach that Class 6 rating, so the additional 10 percent discount will be available for those policyholders.”