Residents: Cedar Rapids flood zone sidewalk improvements waste o - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Residents: Cedar Rapids flood zone sidewalk improvements waste of time, money

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

Some Cedar Rapids residents say sidewalk improvements in the city's time check neighborhood are a waste of time and money.

The city is working on improving the time check area - eventually building a flood wall, but the work is being done on the river side of that potential flood wall.

Rick Ellis lives in the neighborhood and says the work would be washed away if another flood comes.

"Why are they doing this if this is going to be the wet side of the the so called dike they're going to put in? "I don't understand how they figure out putting money down here on these sidewalks is going to make a difference really," said Ellis.

The Time Check neighborhood was an area first to be evacuated and the hardest hit by the 2008 floods.

"I asked the same question when I drove down into those areas, why are we doing those sidewalks? And it's because we're utilizing available federal money to meet the Department of Justice's 2010 report," said city councilman Scott Olson.

Currently, the city is removing streets and making improvements on sidewalks for the eventual flood wall in the Time Check area.

Olson says if the city doesn't follow that 2010 audit report, they would get in trouble.

He says the federal money is from FEMA and if it's not used before the end of this year, they lose it.

"Seems like a lot of good money being flushed down the toilet," said Steve Valley, who also lives in Cedar Rapids.

Olson says the FEMA flood grant is around $2 million , so the city is using the it to remove streets, improve sidewalks, and enhance the sewer system.

Not only in the time check area, but throughout the city.

"It's still going to be a park system with sidewalks, trails, and other things that are going to be designed to flood," said Olson.

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