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Some Residents Relieved After Iowa City Shoots Down Levee Proposal

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IOWA CITY, Iowa - Residents living along Taft Speedway in Iowa City are breathing easy after a proposal to build a levee in their front yards was shot down by the city council late Tuesday night. The proposed levee would have protected 92 nearby condos and a church from future flooding. The area was flooded in both 1993 and 2008.

"I'm happy it went this way, all the inconvenience we would have went through, kind of relief," said Gerry Gerard, who lives in one of nine homes along Taft Speedway.

The nine homes would have been left between the levee and the Iowa River, which snakes through their backyards. The council voted 5-2 after about an hour of public comment Tuesday night. The majority of the council members indicated they couldn't justify prioritizing one group of people over another.

The project would have been paid for with an $8 million federal grant. Public Works director Rick Fosse said the city is now working to see if the money can be used for other flood mitigation projects.

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