Cedar Rapids City Council Accepts Petition Asking for Review of Flood-protection Plan
By Rick Smith, Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Without comment, the Cedar Rapids City Council on Tuesday accepted a petition with 208 signatures on it which asks the council to review and revise the city’s five-year-old “preferred” flood protection plan.
The sentiment is strongest among about 15 homeowners who renovated their riverfront homes on Ellis Boulevard NW near Ellis Park and feel that the preferred plan leaves their homes in limbo.
Linda Seger, president of the Northwest Neighbors Neighborhood Association, also favors a review because her renovated home at 1629 Eighth St. NW is positioned in what the plan designates as a construction zone for a new levee system.
Seger on Monday thanked the council for accepting the petition.
Council members Don Karr and Ann Poe, who sit on the council’s Flood Recovery Committee and have roots in the Ellis Boulevard NW area, are pushing for a review of the preferred plan. Karr is not seeking re-election and Poe was not on the council when the plan was put in place.
City Hall spent consideration time and money in the first months after the June 2008 flood with input from experts, the Army Corps of Engineers, planners, city staff members and the public to come up with the preferred plan.
Mayor Ron Corbett has said the preferred plan is a concept, and he has pointed out that it has been modified, for instance, to account for the city’s riverfront amphitheater, the protection of the historic Louis Sullivan-designed bank on First Street SW and the city’s commitment to create a Kingston Village district across the river from downtown.
The city plans to seek state funds to help pay to engineer a design for west-side protection much as the Army Corps of Engineers and the city now are paying to do for east-side protection. Public input will be part of any final west-side design alignment as it has been on the east-side of the river, Corbett has said.
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