8 months later, flood buyout questions remain - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

8 months later, flood buyout questions remain


CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - Residents held a forum Thursday night to ask questions about buyouts. Around 200 residents came looking for firm details.

Under the city's property acquisition strategy, it to buy the 192 properties in a designated "green zone" to build flood prevention. 554 homes and businesses in nearby areas could also be bought out, if needed. However, it all depends on available funding.

"It's been hard on a lot of people," said landlord Lisa Pazour, as she looked at her nearly-rebuilt property in the Czech Village. 8 months after the June 2008 flood, many homes on her street remain vacant.

"There is so much misinformation out there that people don't know what to do. And you can tell by looking at this area down here, seven houses out of probably a hundred or hundred twenty-five houses have been rebuilt."

State lawmakers, Mayor Kay Halloran and members of the city council came to the forum. Councilor Chuck Weineke said he was happy to answer questions, but felt that most of them had already been answered. 

"I'm afraid that the majority of things they would like to have answers to have already been given," he said.

Mari Davis, who manages several properties in the city, says people want to move on, but can't until they know what's in store for them.

"There are so many components to this, that sometimes it is very difficult to know what's starting to surge ahead," said Davis.

But, there are folks like Don Steichen, who already took action.

"I had to either rebuild or just board it up," he said, as he flipped through a photo album of the process he went through to rebuild his flood-damaged duplex.

He hopes the final buyout plan will let him keep the building, which received its final inspection on Wednesday.

"With two mortgages and insurance and taxes, I couldn't wait three years."

Weineke hopes it won't take that long for the buyouts to start, but says that's up to the state and federal government.

"Before we get funds, bureacracy must take its toll."

Iowa City, Waterloo, Cedar Falls and Waverly also requested federal buyout money totaling more than $200 million. They'll find out how much they'll get sometime this spring.

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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