Rebuild Iowa Bill helps communities - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Rebuild Iowa Bill helps communities

by Danielle Wagner

HAZLETON (KWWL) The $56 million Rebuild Iowa Bill for disaster recovery is now law. Governor Chet Culver signed the bill Monday morning.

It includes 22 million dollars for housing assistance, another 22 million dollars for community disaster grants and 10 million for individual disaster grants.

One community looking to receive funds is Hazleton. The tornado destroyed seven houses and four businesses in the town.

However, damage at the community's wastewater treatment lagoons affected everyone in town.

The three cell lagoon is the wastewater treatment facility for the town of Hazleton.

"The tornado went directrly across it and the people out there said it actually lifted water out of the lagoons," said Hazleton Public Works Director Gene Seiffert.

Crews spent the summer cleaning up damage and debris.

"We had buildings in there, grain bins. We worked most of the summer getting steel, telephone poles, stuff like that out," said Seiffert.

The tornado swept away rocks used to protect the lining of the main lagoon. A total of 1794 feet of rock was damaged. The city could only afford to repair 400 feet, at a cost around $4,000.

City leaders were thrilled to find out help is on the way.

"I was elated. Truly and truly surprised and elated," said Mayor Roger Carson.

Hazleton qualifies for approximately $34,000 of the Rebuild Iowa money. Not a lot of money, but much needed for this small town.

"Right now if this hadn't come across we would have had to put things on hold," said Carson.

Public Works Director Gene Seiffert said the lagoons need repair from a safety stand point for the entire community. City leaders don't know when the $34,000 will arrive, but said it's just nice to know help is on the way.

The City of Hazleton also qualified for help from FEMA, but has yet to receive any money from the agency.

The communities qualifying for the most Rebuild Iowa money are Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Cedar Falls and Palo.

For a complete list of preliminary funds going to eastern Iowa communities, click on links in the blue box of our homepage.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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