Tag Archives: flood protection

My Top Five in 2012


March 6, 2012 The Local Option Sales Tax DEFEAT

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Voters took down the  Local Option Sales tax Election not just once but twice in two years!

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The mayor is still complaining because they weren’t able to secure the money they needed to continue to rob us.  If the money was used right there wouldn’t be so many houses that need worked on!

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March 2012 Officials Arrest Wrong Robert Bates

R0bert Bates wrongfully arrested– protests outside courthouse
Robert Bates was on top of his trailer hooked to his box truck in front of the courthouse on the 3rd Avenue bridge and there were “cops all around” after they arrested the wrong guy. When I got there I didn’t see any cops but I did see Bates on top of his trailer with a megaphone telling anyone who would listen his story.

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June 8, 2012

USS Liberty Memorial Service Held in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on the 45th Anniversary of the Horrible Attack

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June 24 2012 Dilapidated Tree Service Set on Fire for Second Time

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Neighbors Lit up over Fire by Public Works Building

There have been more than 40 Arson’s in Cedar Rapids and no arrests reported!

Aug 27, 2012 RON PAUL REVOLUTION

Snapshot 9 (11-18-2011 9-24 PM)Ron Paul draws more than 20,000 new voters into the Republican Party just in time for the caucus

Ron Paul motivated me to do things I’d never done for any other presidential candidate in my life.  He inspired me to become involved and to educate others about his message of liberty.  He is truly one of the most inspirational people I’ve ever met.  I have nothing but respect for him and his time served in Congress.  He is the Champion of the Constitution.

Though we were able to secure the number of states we needed to get Ron Paul the nomination the rules at the Republican National Convention changed at the last minute! There is a petition to reverse that decision if you are interested in signing it! http://www.rlc.org/sign-the-petition-to-reverse-the-rnc-rule-changes/?referrer=100000901083914

Branstad was obviously wrong about Ron Paul supporting Romney

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Cedar Rapids Headlines 12/23/12


Christmas Dinner Serves Hundreds Annually at Metro High School

By Christy Aumer, Reporter   CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Several hundred people attended the annual free Christmas Dinner at Metro High School on Saturday.
For three hours today, volunteers served up a free meal while attendees had their choice to take home clothing, non-perishable food items and toys – all free of charge. Santa was also there to spread a little Christmas cheer and bring smiles to the faces of the little ones there.This annual event has helped hundreds of people since 1997 when Henry Davison began events like these.
“People need it,” Davison said. “They get to come in, eat, enjoy themselves and leave.”
Families that attended were able to give each child at least one book, one stuffed animal and another gift of their choice. Last year, the program served around 500 people.
“How many people do you see sleep under the bridge every day?” Davison said. “I’m not doing it for me, I’m doing it for them.”
86-year-old Davison started the HD Youth Center in the late 1990s to help members of the community. The center puts on several events during the year, including an Easter Egg Hunt, a Back to School program, a Thanksgiving dinner and an Adventureland trip that Michael Lewis said gives kids the opportunity to get out of the city and have fun.Lewis has been with Davison since he started the program and attended many speeches Davision gave around town in the 1990s in an effort to spread the word about the need for the neighborhood center.
“This really brings the community together,” Lewis said. “It’s a reminder that someone out there cares about you, even if just for a minute.”
HD Youth Center Christmas Coordinator Eric Hansen said the program has seen rough days, especially since the Flood of 2008 which involved a relocation of the center, and events., but Hansen said they’re hoping to open a new location on Mount Vernon Road in the next three months.
“Hoping,” Hansen reiterated. The program is seeking more volunteers to aid in projects and events like these to keep it moving forward.
26-year-old Brittany Hermon said this was one of the biggest events of the year for her and her four kids. Being her second time attending the Christmas dinner, she enjoys seeing familiar faces and plans on coming back again. The toys she selected will be the Christmas gifts for her children, besides two other toys she previously purchased.
“God got me through another Christmas once again,” Hermon said with a smile.
Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Henry Davison at (319) 329-8841.

Flood protection in Cedar Rapids remains top priority

Work goes on to bring it to reality

CEDAR RAPIDS — The flood gauge just upstream from the Eighth Avenue bridge here has the depth of the Cedar River these days at less than three feet.The river’s low flow and a distance of four and a half years from the city’s historic 2008 flood — when the river climbed to 31.12 feet — conspire to blur the need to build the city’s proposed $375 million flood protection system, acknowledges Mayor Ron Corbett.  I’s only natural, said the mayor. Finding public dollars to help in the aftermath of a flood or other natural disaster, he said, is always easier than finding those dollars to protect against what the future might hold.“Once the disaster is cleaned up, then you’re looking for long-term construction dollars, and you’re fighting with all the other aspects of government spending,” Corbett said. “The emotional piece has been lost.” Amphitheater progress
The most visible sign that the work of flood protection is inching ahead is the city’s towering outdoor riverfront amphitheater, now under construction on the west bank of the river across from downtown. This $8 million entertainment venue, which doubles as a flood levee, is a reminder of just how high floodwaters climbed in 2008. In recent weeks, as part of the amphitheater project, a set of concrete pillars have gone up, providing a first look at what a flood wall could look like elsewhere in the city’s flood-protection system.
For his part, Corbett said he is reserving judgment about the aesthetics of the wall until the work is complete, though Dave Elgin, the city’s public works director and city engineer, says the pillars will come with landscaping and other enhancements to make them look more appealing than they might look now.
The section of wall, Elgin adds, is one of many examples of a removable flood wall, which are designed so removable panels can be inserted between the pillars during the approach of a flood. Removable walls are in the city plan for much of downtown.
At first glance, 2012 would seem to have been a bad year for the city’s flood protection plans. After all, local voters in March — for a second time — defeated a measure that would have extended the city’s existing 1 percent, local-option sales tax to provide local dollars to help pay for flood protection.
Corbett, though, says the tax defeat didn’t change what he says is the widely held view in Cedar Rapids that flooding will recur and flood protection will be built.
Flood fund
The tax defeat aside, 2012 brought what Corbett calls a “significant” victory for Cedar Rapids flood protection when the Iowa Legislature created a new state flood protection fund based on an idea that Corbett and the city of Cedar Rapids came up with and spent two years pushing. The new law will direct a portion of the incremental increase in the state sales tax into a fund, which cities can make application to if they have local matching funds.
‘Preferred’ plan’
The city’s Elgin calls the city’s preferred plan a Chevy and not a Cadillac, a plan that provides protection but not extravagances.
With four years now passed since the City Council adopted the preferred plan, Elgin reports that the city now has asked one of the plan’s consultants, Stanley Consultants of Muscatine, to calculate the costs of a less-ambitious flood protection system for the west side of the city.
In the preferred plan, which protects to the elevation of the 2012 flood, the cost of west-side protection now is thought to be between $150 million and $155 million because about $30 million already has been spent to buy out and demolish flood-damaged properties in the way of a flood-protection system.
Stanley Consultants has put the price tag at about $125 million to protect the west side to the 100-year flood level and $140 million to build a foundation sturdy enough to provide 100-year flood protection and to allow the protection to be enhanced to the 2008 flood level in the future. In the end, Stanley has advised that it doesn’t cost that much more to go from 100-year protection to the preferred plan’s 2008 level of protection once the foundation for the latter is in place, Elgin says.

I have to wonder why the city continues to go on and on about “flood protection” when we all know that the reason we flooded as badly as we did was because we had trains sitting on bridges acting as dams! People I talk to in the community want the river dredged.

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Flood Protection Petition & Alternative Plan


Linn County petition to the Linn County Board of Supervisors
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Cedar Rapids Change of Use and 5 Year Extended Sales Tax:
Limiting Current and Future Public Expenditures to Flood Protection

We request that an election be held, pursuant to Iowa Code Section 423B.1 for the purposes listed below as the undersigned eligible electors of Linn County, Iowa.

We request a vote to change the use of the existing $.01 local option sales and services tax which will end June 30, 2014 and to extend its use for an additional five years until June 30, 2019 for Cedar Rapids of which 100% of the revenues shall be used for FLOOD PROTECTION, specifically:
1) No more than $30 million towards the local match for the east side flood protection system as recommended by the Army Corps of Engineers. The remainder to be used as follows:
2) for dredging the Cedar River;
3) for preventing the sanitary and storm water sewer systems on the west side from being a conduit for flooding our neighborhoods by following the recommendations previously summarized by the Army Corps to improve the storm water sewer system including but not limited to: a) increase conveyance capacity; b) install back flow prevention structures; c) create storm water drainage basins; d) install permanent storm water pump stations; e) install drainage outlets through the levee to conform to Corps standards;
4) for tying the west side levee/s into higher ground, as recommended by the Army Corps and
5) for protecting our city’s water supply.

No bonds will be allowed to be sold utilizing the revenues of this change of use and five-year year extension sales tax.

We request that the change of use vote take place first, if both of these requests cannot be voted on at the same time.

We request that a vote for this change of use and extension appear at the earliest available date/s on the election calendar.

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We would also like to add that none of this money is used to acquire any property by means of “eminent domain” or “eminent threat”.
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Reason’s for looking at the Citizen’s Flood Protection Plan:

Almost half the cost- The city’s “preferred plan” cost $145 million to protect the west side. The “citizens’ plan” is estimated $80 million.

Plan can be built by local contractors and union workers- The city’s “preferred plan” was looking at hiring a contractor named EKO out of Germany. The “citizen’s plan” can be done with much simpler equipment by local welders, masons, and form pourers. Material can be purchased by local concrete companies and metal fabricators. This keeps our local money here at home subsequently growing our local economy.

Won’t channel flood water, backing up storm and sanitary sewers is not a problem, minimizes changes that could cause worse flooding downstream- the city’s“preferred plan”, when viewed from a flood impacted person perspective, looks not only worthless by potentially dangerous. Northern most neighborhoods to flood (Time Check) did not flood because of a breach in berm height. The neighborhood flooded because the water backed up through the sewers first. Ultimately I will admit that the flood of 2008 did rise above the berm height and would have poured over but since the initial flooding came from back up it is easy to conclude that this west side neighborhood would flood regardless of the height of a flood wall. The “citizen’s plan” allows for and considers backup. Considering the fact that squeezing the water together between two flood -walls, instead of letting it spread out will result in a deeper, heavier, and much faster body of water moving downstream. There is a greater risk that this body of water and debris could do severe damage to the interstate structure and the bridges we citizens use to connect the two sides of this city. In the days during the 2008 flood, when the bridges of Cedar Rapids were inundated with water many of the citizens and other commuters were forced to use the Interstate in order to get from one side of the river to the other. This caused extreme traffic clogging on the Interstate, especially during rush hour traffic. If a flood damaged or destroyed those bridges the problem would seize our city for months. Even worse if the infrastructure for the Interstate bridge over the 5 in 1 dam were to be damaged it would cripple our city and cause severe consequences for the entire state. Remember that channeling water makes it deeper, heavier, and faster. Most obvious, because most commonly understood, if you let water move through faster you put considerable risk to increased flooding downstream. Simply enough when you review the “citizen’s plan” you will see that it allows the same streets that flooded in 2008 to be used as channels for water to flow, allowing it to spread out rather than condensing. This is ideal for a city to use simple water barriers to block or open streets giving the city the ability to increase or decrease the flow rate of flooded water heading downstream in accordance with the amount of water that may still be coming. The city becomes a river control valve with the ability to make almost instant changes to protect downstream communities.

Flood protection starts immediately. Can be done in sections. No bonding- the city’s “preferred plan” is a construction job of such magnitude that it requires the city to write a very large check before the project can even start. To do this the city plans to borrow against the future income or revenues by selling bonds as a way of borrowing money. This was shown through the last local option sales tax campaign. The city had the bond to borrow the money from our future LOST revenues written up before the voters even decided on it. The “citizen’s plan”, on the other hand, can be built in sections, allowing citizens to receive flood protection and the plan to progress at the same time rate as the funding. This allows higher risk flood homes to start receiving protection the instant that funding is approved, rather than having to wait twenty years for the completion of a major project. It also alleviates the need to bond money because the plan progresses as the funding does. Receive some money, protect some homes. That‘s the common sense approach that doesn’t waste tons of money on bond interests rates.

Aesthetically better and it allows the remaining construction zone to be used. Permanent flood protection requires very high walls to contain and channel water along very large spans of riverbank. The height of the wall is relative to how close it is built to the current riverbank. The closer the riverbank the higher it must be. Flood protection in this manner creates a very ugly and obvious barrier between existing neighborhoods and the aesthetics of the river. View the projects in Grand Forks and Fargo, ND that the city refers to as an example of permanent flood walls or look at the current project at Pepsico (Quaker Oats). The “citizens’plan” for flood protection creates flood protection for individual homes, businesses, and blocks by creating a highly reinforced permanent fence structure that can be changed from retaining, security, privacy, or flood wall in a matter of hours. The highly reinforced permanent fence structure proposed in the “citizens’ plan” is an upscale touch to the current flood prone neighborhoods. The specific design is ultimately decided by the neighborhoods themselves, but the options from concrete casting and/or stone, brick, wood, or stucco surfacing gives neighborhoods and businesses a wide variety of themes to create for their neighborhood. Just think, neighborhoods can create their own village within a city and define their neighborhoods through these themes. By not building the flood wall protection that has been proposed by the city and its City Corps of Engineers, the land that was to previously have been used now becomes available for development. This land having been purchased with City Development Block Grant money should be used for new development in accordance with the desires of the neighborhood in which that land resides.

These are the promotional points in the current “citizens’ plan” for flood protection. Forthcoming will be a written detailed description of the “citizens’ plan”, followed by artistic renditions and general drafting plans. Detailed drafting plans and itemized labor costs will be revealed as the promotion of the “citizens’ plan” for flood protection moves forward.

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The “CITIZENS’ PLAN”

The “citizens’ Plan” has been developed for three reasons:

• One, the people realized that the city’s “preferred plan” either wasn’t going to protect their property or is going to take so long to build that a faster alternative was needed.

• Two, the city’s “preferred plan” does not address the issue that the sanitary and storm sewers are the cause of initial flooding.

• Third, the city’s “preferred plan” does not consider the best alternatives for the people relating to who builds it, where the money comes from, and how local the work is contracted out. So the issues to address are as follows:

1. Protect homes and businesses from a flood of a similar magnitude as the one in 2008

A. Perimeter flood protection

B. Sewer backup protection

C. Ground seepage protection

1. Permanent skeletal structure for a flood wall around businesses blocks, and/or homes.

a. Skeletal structure made from structural I beams placed horizontally and vertically, connected, starting below frost level in the ground, and preceding to the height of flood water of 2008.
b. Concrete, with grid patterned rebar reinforcement, foundation poured below frost line to ground level.
c. Concrete casting or form around vertical I beams to the height of those i-beams.
d. b and c have metal track valley systems for insertion and removal of fencing and flood wall plates.

2. Temporary flood wall plates for permanent structure.

a. Removable flood plates made of aluminum or steel in dimension to maintain integrity according to the height and dimensional force of water at levels matching the 2008 flood.
b. Flood plate track system made of material to withstand weathering, be easy to clean and maintain, and integrity to retain flood plates.

B. Sewer backup protection

1. Two types of sanitary shut of systems.

a. Cap, weight, and valve-main-drain is capped and weighted in the basement and a drain valve to stop up flow.
b. Plug system.-long durable balloon is placed in the external drain and filled with water to pressure.

C. Ground seepage protection.

1. Sump basins and pumps to redirect potential ground seepage.
2. Generators to run pumps during electrical failure.

a. Solenoid starter and relay to start generator when electric fails.
c. Pedestal platform for generator, higher than flood height and closest to electric service.
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Oh and I think it should be noted* after this city forced my neighbors to leave I will never vote in favor of their tax.