City Still Waits on $62 Million in FEMA Appeals
By Rick Smith, Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - No word has arrived yet from the Federal Emergency Management Agency on two giant appeals that the city has filed in an effort to get $62.44 million in disaster payments it once thought the federal agency had promised.
However, the city has partially won another appeal with FEMA in which the federal agency has agreed to pay the city $1.4 million to build a pump station at the city’s Water Pollution Control facility to pump rain water into the Cedar River and over a new flood protection system to be built at the plant.
Joe O’Hern, the city’s flood recovery and reinvestment director, on Thursday said the city had sought $4.1 million from FEMA for work related to the pump station, but only succeeded in securing some of the funding. The city is seeking funding elsewhere for the related work, O’Hern said.
The city’s large disagreement with FEMA involves two matters: $51.92 million to repair the existing incinerator at the city’s Water Pollution Control facility and to replace it with a new one; and $10.52 million to bury demolition debris in the landfill from the site of the former Sinclair meatpacking site. Both appeals are second ones and will be decided at FEMA headquarters in Washington, D.C.
To date, the city has paid $16.4 million of its own money for incinerator repairs and Sinclair debris costs which the city will be stuck with if it does not succeed with its FEMA appeals.
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