Numbers and Flood Profiteers

Recipients of our Flood Money Combined_BRAP_JS1_Alpha

Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce ChamberFoudation2009_Form990

Visit We Can Do Better CR for more information on how our money has been spent!

Click here for an article on Cedar Rapids and HUD HUD DISALLOWED CEDAR RAPIDS FLOOD RECOVERY SPENDING & RELATED ISSUES REMAIN UNRESOLVED

4-4-12

The critical HUD issues reported in the March 2010 Gazette article and also the HUD reports, remain unresolved. In addition, HUD is now further auditing Cedar Rapids flood recovery spending in response to a citizen complaint. How much money might have to be repaid is uncertain, but it certainly ought to concern the legislature and others, as it won’t likely come from those who received and spent it.

The March Gazette article cited the following as involved, and there could be many more:

Bret Mills, the new director of the Iowa Department of Economic Development,

Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED)

Iowa’s Jumpstart Business Assistance Program.

City of Cedar Rapids

Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce

Theresa Bornbach, president of Transitions Made Better Inc., who ran the program for the Chamber of Commerce

406 Cedar Rapids businesses

The disallowed spending is itemized on the following websites. The respective $8.5 million and $7.5 million disallowed amounts, totaling $16 million, itemized on each website, are noted in bold.

http://www.hudoig.gov/pdf/AuditReports/IA/ig1071001.pdf

At least $8.5 Million out of $14.7 Million Spent- Disallowed by HUD OIG (Office of Inspector General) – Cedar Rapids Jumpstart 1 Business Assistance Program. (As of 2010)

http://www.hudoig.gov/pdf/AuditReports/IA/ig1071004.pdf

$7.5 Million “100% of Spending Disallowed by HUD OIG” – Cedar Rapids Jumpstart Business Rental Assistance Program. (As of 2010)

BACKGROUND
Cedar Rapids was granted flood recovery funding from the federal Community Development Block Grant Program – (CDBG).

On Saturday, March 24, 2012 on Page 6A, the Cedar Rapids Gazette reported, “HUD’s Office of Inspector General found documentation problems two years ago in a grant program for Cedar Rapids small businesses through Iowa’s Jumpstart Business Assistance Program. The city had contracted with the Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce to oversee the program, and a local business ran the program for the chamber.” The entire Gazette article is posted on website:

http://thegazette.com/2012/03/23/hud-auditors-in-cedar-rapids-to-take-a-look-at-flood-buyout-program/

Stay tuned for more developments.

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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

11 responses to “Numbers and Flood Profiteers

  • Tom

    Thomas, or whoever you are, there are many forces working here who will do everything to get their way and these people I speak of are motivated by the all the Free Money that our Mayor says is not paid for by us taxpayers.

    But, to tell you the truth, the mayor is not really the problem, its the city staff at City Hall who do sneak-arounds to get specific companies position so the City Council see how efficient City Hall process is; how transparent it is; how quick they make things happen in City Staff’s quest to save the taxpayers money. Then you have Councilman Karr coming in to a flood committee meeting asking that we add more money to projects; lots more money as it makes since to have reserves available for unexpected events. This way we don’t waste any committee or council time. Just hand out Millions. So its not the mayor, its City Staff like a raging river bringing in the bait so the council can dress it up with gold trinkets as we all walk to the Shadow Government Castle.

  • Thomas Moore

    http://CriminalRapids.com Seems like a more fitting name for this ChamberPot Controlled town which is now Bankrupt.

    Cedar Rapids now has $415 General Obligation Debt and over $100 Enterprise Debt and how long will take before the Convention Center Complex ever make any money; Try Never !

    And, if this is all true (which it is) Cedar Rapids and its Criminal Rapids attitude will end up like Flint Michigan !! Broke & in Financial Ruin; Labeled a National Failure; or Worse – The largest Case of U.S. Disaster Aid Fraud since Katrina.

    And who is the blame for all of this bad rap and now bankrupt city ? Why, all the residents of Cedar Rapids who were told they could stop it and then shot down their only hope.

    Just Amazing how self-indulging neophytes who professed a willingness to stop city by voting down LOST hall actually destroyed any chance this city had in recovering from the economic devastation of the June 2008 Flood.

    When I showed up with my Buddies from Chicago; and then later proclaimed to have an answer to stop the corruption in this town; my claims were taken very seriously by both supporters and non-supporters of stopping City Hall’s Spending of Taxpayer dollars but, others had their own plan and that was to cut off funding to the ChamberPots and Shadow Government which was a very big mistake.

    By not addressing the ill gotten gains and holding those responsible for the crimes at City Hall, All residents are now left with $415 Million of General Obligation Debt ($125 Million is being floated and unfunded, budgeted and unreported in City Halls Budget System and over $100 Million of Enterprise Debt from the New Convention Center Complex: Hotel, U.S. Cellular and Convention Center.

  • Thomas Moore

    Mr. Locke,

    How did you mis the 13 Businesses that used ways that are not even legal, for example,

    “Two Related Businesses used the same loan papers to get a grant for $50,000 each, $100,000 total”; and

    “Four businesses in the same building used a $200,000.00 mortgage to get $5,0000.00 each”

    ITS CALLED FRAUD and everyone needs to read this report.

    “Cedar Rapids is Now Bankrupt” and its based on the City’s own Documents.

    http://tinyurl.com/cr-bankrupt

    • Ajai Dittmar

      Outside of the HUD stuff there is something even bigger going on that I will be posting about soon. If the information the city employee provided me is correct it’s going to change everything. Stay tuned!

  • John Locke

    When taken in total, the HUDOIG’s comments are directed toward the State, not the City or the Chamber. And from what I have read, no one was forced to sell anything. These audits should be embraced as a way to hold the State accountable for spending millions of our dollars. The recipients will be forced to pay it back – just like overspent FEMA monies.

    This post reminds me of this article I read: http://thegazette.com/2012/03/29/despite-questions-flood-bill-clears-hurdle/

    Lots of noise but no analysis or ideas. I wonder if the author is an avid patron of Limbaugh and O’Reilly.

    • Ajai Dittmar

      Isn’t your name from that fictional show ABC had airing…. LOST? No offense just curious if it is your name!

      Perhaps I should change the title because I didn’t write anything and since I have several video documentations of flood impacted individuals who were coerced into taking the buyout I can say – yes, people were forced to sell out!

      The post was- as I said- only made to use as a referral since I can’t figure out how to upload pdfs to Facebook!

  • Thomas Moore

    Thank you for posting this information and spread the word that HUD will have to be paid back, Who wants to do it ?

  • Thomas Moore

    Joh Locke,

    This list is for the Chamber Jumpstat 1 – Cedar Rapids Business Assistance Program.

    In 2 HUD Office of Inspector General Reports here: http://www.hudoig.gov/reports/IA.php

    They will tell you all you need to know. Its Fraud Babby, $18 Million worth !!!

    Issue Date: May 26, 2010
    Audit Report No.: 2010-KC-1004
    Title: The State of Iowa Did Not Implement Adequate Controls Over Its Business Rental Assistance Programs

    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Office of Inspector General audited the State of Iowa’s (State) business rental assistance program (program) funded by Community Development Block Grant disaster funds. Our objective was to determine whether the State ensured that the City of Cedar Rapids (City) provided rental assistance to eligible businesses based on appropriate leases.

    The State did not implement adequate controls over its program. It did not provide adequate guidance for determining whether leases were market rate. It also did not perform a complete duplicate benefits check to verify that the businesses did not receive duplicate benefits from any other program, insurance, or source before awarding the disaster assistance funds. In addition, it did not perform onsite monitoring reviews to evaluate program operations.

    We recommend that HUD require the State to provide documentation to support that program funds were properly paid or reimburse the CDBG program from non-Federal sources any amounts that it cannot support. We also recommend that HUD require the State to implement adequate controls over the program.

    Issue Date: March 10, 2010
    Audit Report No.: 2010-KC-1001
    Title: The State of Iowa Misspent Community Development Block Grant Disaster Assistance Funds and Failed To Check for Duplicate Benefits

    The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Office of Inspector General audited the State of Iowa’s (State) Community Development Block Grant Disaster Assistance Funds. Our audit objective was to determine whether the State ensured that the City of Cedar Rapids provided disaster assistance funds to only eligible businesses and that these businesses did not receive duplicate Federal benefits.

    The State misspent more than $10.5 million of its CDBG disaster funding and failed to check for duplicate benefits before awarding the funds. It provided jumpstart disaster assistance funds to 305 of 406 businesses without supporting their eligibility for funding. It also failed to verify that the 406 Jumpstart recipients did not receive duplicate benefits through any other program, insurance, or source before awarding the disaster assistance funds.

    We recommend that HUD require the State to (1) provide documentation to support that $10.5 million in disaster assistance funds was paid to businesses in accordance with Iowa State law or reimburse the CDBG program from non-Federal sources for amounts that it cannot support and (2) perform oversight and monitoring of the disaster recovery activities in a timely manner. We also recommend that HUD require the State to perform a duplication of benefits check on all 406 businesses to ensure compliance with the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act and repay any amounts that are found to have been duplicated.

  • Thomas Moore

    If you need me to fix the last column overlap, and this time save it as pdf file and re-email it to F.K. –> L.K., I can do that. Just let them know.

    R.C.

  • John Locke

    You list no names from the buyout. Certainly those folks profited. Your link to wecandobetter provided no relevant information on how spending could be allocated in a more productive manner. The list provided appears to contain mostly “loans” which could end up creating a profit. How is this activism when there is no analysis?

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