I feel like I live in the Twilight Zone! And no I don’t mean on the SW side of town either, I mean like the show the Twilight Zone. In the last four years the city I was born and raised in has been radically transformed. Some call it progress others call it flood recovery but I call it greed.
The city told people who lived on the river to Ellis Blvd NW that they could not rebuild their homes because their homes were located where a flood wall wall was going to be constructed. People were told that their homes couldn’t be rebuilt because FEMA wouldn’t allow it. If you were told that you were not allowed to rebuild your home or that the city needed your property for flood protection then you were may have been coerced. The city took down people’s homes before they were paid for and that was wrong. According to FEMA “No one is forced to take the buyout in a “Voluntary Property Acquisition” Buyouts are strictly voluntary. No homeowners are ever forced to relinquish their property. Homeowners who decide not to participate in the buyout may need to take risk reduction measures, such as elevating their homes.”
Imagine if we still had the tax base that once lined our west bank. I suppose we could build new but that is wrong to the people who were told they couldn’t go home.
The city and their hired consultants are in violation of several laws. The Stafford Act is a good place to start for that.
Had the city followed the conditions listed in the FEMA Handbook they might not be in the pickle they’re in. When you have so much corruption that city leaders openly talk about using FEMA money as if it were “free money” is because we are letting them! This is why city leaders blame FEMA for our losses. They blame FEMA because FEMA is giving them the money to do it! But the truth is it’s our fault for not being asking more questions and not demanding more oversight. We trusted our government. That was a mistake. We should have come out in full force and questioned our council for their decisions. Oh wait, we already tried that!
Headlines should read “Rabrai is coming and the City wants the rest of the flood impacted houses gone” There is no need to sugarcoat the truth. We know why the city does what it does and it’s not to promote the safety and health of the locals! Things are done around here for superficial reasons only. There is no sense of history. No sense of community. And all for what? A plan that was planned before the flood of 2008 by Sasaki and put out there as if the citizens came up with it! I guess I would be more convinced if I hadn’t have gone to every single “neighborhood planning meeting” in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and even called Senator Grassley to come to attend.
While at these meetings I expressed concern about the plan and the “greenway”/”construction zones”. The consultants didn’t seem to care. I have seen a map dated before the 2008 floods with the “REPORT.11.01.09 framework plan exec summary“. I would love to share a copy of it and once I do I will post it here for everyone to see.
See we have an outdated law maker who doesn’t seem to value the Constitution or our property rights.
I think we need to come back to the table for discussion and do some real neighborhood planning because the people that live in these areas deserve to have the opportunity to have some kind of input that will be taken seriously when it comes to our recovery!