Northwest Cedar Rapids recreation center hits roadblock - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Northwest Cedar Rapids recreation center hits roadblock

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

Four years after the floods, the Time Check area of northwest Cedar Rapids has open fields and a small playground.

Neighbors have been pushing for a new recreation center to help rebuild the neighborhood.

"A recreation center that would assist the seniors and the youth of the city of Cedar Rapids is a wise investment for the city," saidLinda Seger, Northwest Neighbors Neighborhood Association President.

Since the floods the city has discussed where to put a new center.

They settled on a field near the old Time Check Recreation Center.

The city's top priority is, is to get a recreation center built," said Joe O'Hern, Executive Administrator for Development Services. 

But the city recently learned that they will not receive the FEMA funding they requested to build the center, because the proposed location is in the 100 year flood plain.

In an unofficial notice, FEMA said that they want the center moved out of the plain as an earlier proposal mentioned.

That solution was to move to elevated Ellis Park, which met opposition from neighbors.

"It was given to the city in the 1903 to preserve it always as a park and not a developmental area in which there'd be a lot of buildings," said Seger.

Moving to higher ground might be the only way to get a new recreation center.

"The community's goal is to have a recreation center built and operational," said O'Hern.  "That's what we've been trying to get to now since, since the disaster."

Neighbors want the city to appeal FEMA's ruling.

City officials said that's a possibility but they're waiting to make any decisions until they get the official letter.

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