Office of Inspector General wants Cedar Rapids flood funding sto - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Office of Inspector General wants Cedar Rapids flood funding stopped


The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General issued a report on Friday recommending that FEMA reverse its decision to give the City of Cedar Rapids money to repair the hydro-electric facility at the 5-in-1 dam.

The city applied for funding to repair the facility after they say it sustained more than $13 million in damage during the flood of 2008, even though it was not operating at the time due to damage sustained before the flood.

After an initial denial, the city appealed FEMA's decision, and in 2012, FEMA determined that the project was eligible and approved $13.8 million in funding to repair the facility.

After the approval, the city applied to transfer the funds to an alternative project. Approval of that request allowed the city to begin construction on a new parking ramp near the new federal courthouse.

The city now needs to wait for FEMA to decide what they will do next to see if they will have to take on debt to build the parking ramp.

"The City of Cedar Rapids is disappointed that the Office of Inspector General has objected to FEMA's decision to fund the facility," Joe O'Hern, Executive Administrator for Development Services, said in a written statement. "We have been working with Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division and FEMA for years to secure the funding we need."

O'Hern points out that they have received some good news from FEMA. They recently forgave a $5 million disaster recovery loan the City received shortly after the flood.

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