Cedar Rapids leaders react to Governor's address - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids leaders react to Governor's address

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - Having listened first-hand to Governor Chet Culver's Condition of the State Address, Mayor Kay Halloran came away optimistic, but also realistic about when Cedar Rapids would see more flood relief.

"We can't do this overnight, and we can't even find all the money overnight," she acknowledged in an interview over the phone. "We don't expect to get all of it at once, we don't expect to get it from any one source, and we expect to have to provide some of it ourselves."

She says the City's main goals are still to get people back into their homes and businesses, and to repair the public infrastructure, an estimated cost of $5 billion.

City Councilor Brian Fagan wants the governor and legislature to keep speed of recovery at the forefront of their efforts.

"When we're dealing with disasters of this magnitude, both a natural disaster and also the economic crisis we're in, it's important that our recovery be swift," said Fagan.

As the city works toward balancing its own budget, he'd like to see lawmakers find ways to reduce the state's reliance on property taxes.

"What we would like to do is find some relief for the commercial and industrial property taxpayers, and find a system that works better in terms of funding the services that residents expect."

Mayor Halloran says the governor was right to stray from making promises of where additional flood relief would go. However, she feels confident he will fulfill the city's needs.

"When the Speaker of the House and the majority leader of the Senate come to me and say, 'we're going to do our best to take care of Cedar Rapids,' I believe them."

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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