Is Cedar Rapids, Iowa Dragging America down with its Expensive Facelift?

In June, 2008 the “city that would never floodwent 12 feet under and has dragged the rest of the country down with it ever since! The city invests millions of dollars on its east side leaving the west side without flood protection or investment.

City leaders took advantage of FEMA funding to turn our disaster into an “opportunity” for themselves. Why does Cedar Rapids continue to receive FEMA funding when FEMA is BROKE? Officials started projects based on ‘potential’ FEMA funds were spent before any funding was approved or received..
City Officials had a plan.

Instead of allowing people to recover, officials created and fostered a division between the East and West side of town. They have done this by design by burying residents/homeowners in red tape, drawing arbitrary lines through historical neighborhoods (120 year old tax bases), and blaming FEMA for drawing the lines through the neighborhoods and that they are at fault for the slow recovery. I called FEMA and they deny drawing lines through our neighborhoods and said that our city officials who applied for the buyout.

I know this much is true. Cedar Rapids officials drew arbitrary lines in the name of FEMA and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in the name of flood protection. Again, I called FEMA and USACE about the historical neighborhoods and both agencies say that the city, drew the lines. One man from the USACE even went as far as calling the scenario that I was explaining to him sounded illegal and would qualify as ‘coercion in a voluntary property acquisition’.

Conversations with the Council meeting at Roosevelt Middle School in Cedar Rapids 2009

Officials have since given property where the original property owners could not rebuild on to developers who can and will profit from after millions of tax dollars from FEMA and HUD were used to acquire the properties. Non-profits with incestuous connections and city staff have taken advantage of funding meant for disaster victims for their own profit.

Buildings that were barely touched by flood water, like Public Works, will be razed (and replaced with brand new buildings) while buildings like the Time Check Recreation Center sit abandoned and untouched for the last three years.

Millions of dollars of tax payers dollars have been invested/promised to a small area within a three block radius on the east side of the river in the name of “flood recovery” no one located in the Greedway or CONstruction (the areas people lived in) zone will be helped. Instead of being helped their Constitutional Rights have been violated and they are labeled as ‘stubborn‘ and ‘radical’ for wanting to save what’s left of the American dream.

Please allow me to explain my position. I love my 111 year old riverfront home in NW Cedar Rapids. The city offered a buyout. This buyout was supposedly ‘voluntary‘ but people who lived in my area were denied assistance. People were told they couldn’t rebuild. This after ONE major flood.

People’s houses were ‘tested’ by environmental companies hired by the city who deemed them environmental risks. In turn city inspectors came by and wrote tickets for these houses being ‘nuisances’ so that FEMA funds could be used to demolish them.

We were under a ‘revitalization’ program (more federal money) at the same time that this flood happened. In fact, our last inspection was to take place on June 17, 2008 because we were part of the Weed and Seed initiative in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I did turn it in but got the run around over the phone. The house I refer to in this video was demolished before the homeowner was paid. The homeowner couldn’t back out of the buyout if they wanted to!

I was born and raised in this city and I firmly believe that we would have fully recovered from the 2008 flood if we weren’t taken advantage of during this time of chaos. Many people were told that they couldn’t rebuild and were forced to move into houses they couldn’t afford. If given the chance to do it over we could have done this without tearing down our best houses because we are “can do” kind of people.

Cedar Rapids residents have been fighting the city and FEMA and will continue to stand up for American tax payers because we understand the value of our freedom and know first hand how fast it can be taken.

About a minute in Mike Augustine at a neighborhood meeting in NW Cedar Rapids complains about the mayor after mayor says tax payers won’t pay “diddly squat” in local newspaper.

(all we have done is pay)

Below are some questions I asked the United States Army Corps of Engineers during their presentation of the CEDAR RIVER CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA FLOOD RISK MANAGEMENT PROJECT page 18 explains that the city’s “Preferred Plan” is not supported by the United States Army Corps of Engineers- the most important statement they made was this one: “Specific to the Time Check neighborhood, alternatives containing river’s edge alignments cannot impact
land purchased with funds from the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). FEMA rules do not allow construction of a flood damage reduction project or protection of lands purchased with HMGP funds. Alignments evaluated through this area, therefore, had to be set back accordingly and could not be placed near the river’s bankline.

None of the flood damage reduction alignments along the west side of the river met required economic criteria in order to establish a Federal interest. Economic justification was found for a few of the alternative alignments on the east side, out of which a Recommended Plan was identified. The local sponsor, City of Cedar Rapids, ultimately has the decision whether or not to proceed with the Recommended Plan.”

The following video is from one of the open forums put on by the United States Army Corps of Engineers in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. This is Larry. Larry’s house is gone while just two blocks away millions of dollars have been invested in a two block area known as Czech Village. What kind of village has no villagers? The “village of GREED”!

This video is not a plea for donations because these homes are no longer standing. This video is to show the world that there used to be a Village here.

About Ajai Dittmar

There is nothing 'radical' about wanting to save your historical neighborhood! There is nothing 'negative' for wanting an 'outside investigation' done a public service that has had a lot of embarrassing news, especially when they don't do their jobs! There is nothing 'odd' about wanting politicians to uphold the Constitution they swear to uphold when they are sworn into office! Follow @sibzianna View all posts by Ajai Dittmar

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