We are no longer the City of Five Smells according to our Mayor, Ron Corbett. I wish I could bottle those non-existent smells because I totally would if it were possible. Cedar Rapids, Iowa has been, and always will be, the City of Five Smells. Some of the smells could be described as aromas. I mean who doesn’t love the smell we presume radiates from Quaker Oats, the smell of maple syrup or Captain Crunch, yum.
Perhaps the mayor could embrace the smells instead of denying their existence. For some these smells pay the bills and their very existence is comforting. Instead of denying the smells Mayor Corbett inspire a company like Febreze to bring in more jobs!
I feel like the rosy, we are recovered, State of the City speech was a distraction from the bigger problems like the record debt, crumbling streets, and the talk about saving Ann Poe’s childhood home’s family fire pit over on Ellis Boulevard NW while the shell of the city owned abandoned home stands as a reminder that we are not recovered from the flood.
Let us not forget that we still don’t have any reasonable “flood protection” for the west side that the media will talk about. Most people don’t know that the berm was stabilized by the City Corps of Engineers from Penn Avenue NW to N Avenue NW for $800,000 in 2010.
The sewer system is finally being worked on as I type! I am still curious to see what the city plans to do about the storm outlet into the river on N Avenue NW. The water isn’t able to drain from the from the creek by Harrison into the river because the water flows from the river into the outlet!
Some people who just want to move on from the flood aren’t totally recovered because they’re still being asked to pay taxes for land that the city desperately wanted to acquire. Our city can give their insurance company, True North, a $4 million dollar profit to acquire a property that they didn’t even own before the flood from our local option sales tax but they can’t clear up petty debt for these 18 homes?
I wonder if these homes have city liens? Seriously, this happened on 6th Street NW. The city had mailing addresses for people whose homes were sitting there empty. Instead of mailing the homeowner a notice explaining that they were still responsible for things such as mowing their yard at their flooded out home, the city hung notices from overgrown bushes near the front door of the abandoned house. Many homeowners had no idea that the city was going to charge them by placing liens on the property being acquired!
There is no doubt the mayor would like to think the city smells like a bed of roses but it doesn’t! He will have to accept the fact that our city always has and always will stink! He would like to think we have recovered from the 2008 flood but we are constantly reminded how skewed the city’s priorities were when we are reminded that rebuilt homes and churches have been demolished while the shell of Ann Poe’s childhood family continues to stand! That alone, stinks!