Cedar Rapids received first Jumpstart assistance checks - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids received first Jumpstart assistance checks


CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - Homeowners George and Pat Neal received $29,000 in loans Friday, to rebuild their home that was lost to summer flooding. They're the first flood victims in Cedar Rapids to receive money from the Jumpstart Iowa program. Governor Chet Culver was there to personally hand them a check. As he did so, Pat tried to hold back tears.

Her husband says it's a sign that life is returning to normal in Cedar Rapids, slowly but surely. "It's a start," he told us. "It's a start-over."

Homeowners like the Neals are eligible for up to $72,000 in forgiveable Jumpstart loans, while businesses can get up to $50,000. Tom Werning, owner of Universal Engineering, received the maximum amount.

"We very appreciate what the state has done, and what Mr. culver has done, and also the city of Cedar Rapids and their efforts," he said.

But Werning reminded us that like thousands of other flood victims, he sustained much more damage than what has so far been covered by flood aid. That's a fact that Governor Culver is aware of.

"We still understand that there are a lot of people who have real challenges," he said. "I think today's announcement is symbolic of the fact that we are making real progress." He says money will continue to flow in from Jumpstart and other sources, but that it will take time.

Culver expects the next round of aid will come in the form of around $20,000,000 from CDBG Disaster Funds. He estimates that Iowa will also receive around $150,000,000 from the U.S. Department of Urban Development.

October 31st is the deadline to register with FEMA or the SBA if you were impacted by the summer flooding.

Online Reporter - Brady Smith


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