Important Day For Cedar Rapids
(The Flood Mitigation Board announced today they WILL award the city of Cedar Rapids the $264 million that they requested. Press release from the city of Cedar Rapids below the next paragraph).
(from earlier today) It’s a significant day for Cedar Rapids as city leaders and residents wait to find out the decision of the Iowa Flood Mitigation Board. The city is asking for $264 million dollars from the state to use towards flood protection on both sides of the Cedar River. Other Iowa cities have requested funding as well from the board – which has $600 million dollars to disperse. A “yes” vote would help Cedar Rapids protect itself from experiencing the same fate it dealt with in 2008.
December 4, 2013
Cedar Rapids Awarded $264 Million for Flood Protection
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – December 4, 2013 – The State of Iowa’s Flood Mitigation Board on Wednesday awarded the City of Cedar Rapids $264 million toward a flood mitigation project to protect both sides of the Cedar River.
Mayor Ron Corbett and members of the City Council and City staff were at the State Capital in Des Moines today for the discussion and award by the Flood Mitigation Board. “Today is a monumental day for Cedar Rapids. This award allows the city to build flood protection on both sides of the Cedar River simultaneously,” Mayor Corbett said, “This is the result of strong leadership by the City Council and the hard work of City staff.”
The City of Cedar Rapids, in an application submitted in November, requested $263,773,000 to provide 46% of $570,430,000 total project cost. The proposed mitigation system includes construction of 6.24 miles of levee and floodwalls (permanent and removable), 11 pump stations, 21 roadway and railroad gate closures, improvements to a flood prone bridge (elevation of approaches), and design on a second river crossing.
Joe O’Hern, the Executive Administrator for Development Services for the City of Cedar Rapids commented, “Today’s award, providing funding for flood protection on both sides of the river, not only serves to protect neighborhoods, but also provides Cedar Rapids assurance for current and future investment in the core of our city.”
The City of Cedar Rapids successfully lobbied the Iowa State Legislature for the past two years to create a state funding source for flood protection, resulting in the creation of the Flood Mitigation Program (FMP). The Flood Mitigation Program recaptures the growth in sales tax to help with flood mitigation projects. The initiative was referred to as the Growth Reinvestment Initiative (GRI). The FMP allows for the increment, or growth, in sales tax to be returned to a jurisdiction over a twenty-year period with an annual cap of 70% of the growth, or 15 million dollars.