Sunday, May 03, 2009

Cedar Rapids Gazette Applauds Actions by Legislature on Flood Recovery

3rd Ave Cedar Rapids from Skywalk - Iowa floodImage by mherzber via Flickr

The Cedar Rapids Gazette applauded the action by the state legislature on flood recovery efforts.
At the bottom line, more than $400 million was pledged in various ways toward flood recovery, mitigation and future preparation. Clearly, even that large sum pales in comparison to the needs that still exist. But during a year when the state faced serious budget difficulties, we agree with Rep. Tyler Olson, D-Cedar Rapids, who calls it a "significant victory."

Legislative action includes $56 million swiftly approved in the session's opening days for recovery needs. In the session's final hours, a series of massive bonding initiatives were approved that include $45 million expressly for Cedar Rapids infrastructure projects, including dollars focused on repairs to several government and cultural facilities. Local projects also may receive finds from other portions of the bonding program in the coming months.

Another $100 million in bonds were approved for flood-related projects at the University of Iowa.

Additional housing funds were approved, and tens of millions of dollars in tax credits were authorized to encourage investments in new housing and in the preservation of historic structures damaged by flooding.

The Legislature also poured resources into efforts to prevent future flooding, including millions of dollars to repair flood-damaged soil conservation practices and to expand multiple programs within the Iowa Department of Natural Resources aimed at better managing floodplains and runoff in watersheds across the state.

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