Tag Archives: 2008

FEMA denies the City of Cedar Rapids funding for the Time Check Recreation Center- Again

Well well, FEMA denied the City of Cedar Rapids funding for the Time Check Recreation Center, again. What is your opinion on this? Do you think it’s a good idea to give the city money to build a brand new recreation center in the 100 year flood plain after the city neglected to clean out the original recreation center for three years? These photos show the recreation center three years after the flood:
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The city wouldn’t clean this building that was blowing mold all over the city for three years until it was time to start discussing the replacement of the building! When the city finally did decide to clean it out they hired an out of state company even though nearby residents offered to clean it out for free.
Don Karr told FEMA Tuesday morning at a meeting, “You’re not helping us put the city back to the way it was before the flood, “said city council member Don Karr. “I’m asking you to stand by your word.”

Flood impacted people were told “not to expect FEMA to make us whole” yet, city officials expect just that! FEMA is expected to make things better than ever for the city. FEMA has done a lot for Cedar Rapids already! They paid for all the buyouts (after the houses were demolished- the city received $27 Million dollars just to acquire approximately 192 properties in the “green-way”), we have a new library, a new fire department being built, refurbished Sheriffs Department, the Paramount Theater has been rebuilt,and many other projects have all been built new and all better than they were before!

How much more will the city leaders demand from FEMA? Especially since city leaders are merely spending the money because it is there? This while disasters such as Hurricane Sandy is fresh in our minds. What about these disaster victims? What about the new FEMA recipients in California? One must ask why didn’t the city make due with what they had instead of expecting FEMA to buy and build them a brand new city? When will Cedar Rapids leaders consider the other disaster areas that will need that money to recover? Who is paying for all of this? Taxpayers need to know where their money is going in these hard times!
“We’re going to keep fighting it,” Karr said. “We’re going to keep fighting to get this built.” The city has 60 days to appeal FEMA’s decision. They say because the plan was rejected, rebuilding efforts may be pushed back another year.

The Preferred Scam and The Local Option Sales Tax

Homeowners residing on 1st Street, NW, like myself, chose to live by the river and know the risks. That is why we have flood insurance. The city’s so-called “voluntary” buyout would have forced us to take a $50,000 loss.

The 2008 flood did not begin with the river over-topping the earthen levee on the west bank, as many think. Neighborhoods were flooded through the storm and sanitary sewer systems.

During the evacuation, Ellis Boulevard, from Penn Avenue to 1st Avenue, seven blocks from my house, water was 2 feet deep, while 3rd Street NW was dry. The city’s plan wants a levee on 4th Street NW. Even with a wall, neighborhoods far from the river will still flood through the sewers, making it harder for the water to drain.

I was on the Local Option Sales Tax “Oversight Committee.” This “oversight” committee has absolutely no authority. The only thing this committee does is give a recommendation. The Committee voted down using L.O.S.T. for public facilities every time, yet the Council used it anyway.

In my opinion, the city did not use L.O.S.T. correctly. Was 90% of it used for acquisition and rehabilitation of flood-damaged housing, as sold to the voters in 2009? No.