Cedar Rapids leaders call Iowa Flood Mitigation board decision "historic"
Written by Michelle Corless, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -
It's a day Cedar Rapids city leaders are calling historic. The Iowa Flood Mitigation Board approved the city's application for nearly $264 million. That means the city can move forward with plans to build flood protection on both sides of the Cedar River, miles of flood walls and levies.
"The city that we all love and care about, we can begin to put the process together to protect," said Ann Poe, Cedar Rapids City Council. "It's huge."
Until now much of the focus has been on the east side of the river. The city is expecting federal funds for a project approved by the Army Corps of Engineers.
"We have some confidence at this point that will occur," said Jeff Pomeranz, Cedar Rapids City Manager.
Czech Village nearly washed away five years ago and the Time Check Neighborhood hasn't looked the same since 2008 but until the decision made in Des Moines Wednesday there was no funding for west side flood protection.
"We still need to work and visit with the business community and the neighbors on the west side, but, this should give everybody a great hope," said Ron Corbett, Cedar Rapids Mayor.
The state funds cover half the cost of Cedar Rapids flood protection. The city hopes for more than $78 million from the federal government and will come up with the rest on its own.
The state payments to Cedar Rapids will come gradually over the next 20 years but the first payment is scheduled for next year. The money is based on projected sales tax growth over the next 20 years. Each city gets a percentage of sales tax growth. The actual amounts may vary from the numbers in the applications.
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