Grassley: Hurricane aid shouldn't affect Cedar Rapids flood money

City awaits the federal government coming through with $73M

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CEDAR RAPIDS — Federal funds for hurricane relief in Florida and Texas should not negatively affect Cedar Rapids’ request for $73 million for flood protection, Sen. Chuck Grassley said Wednesday.

Funds for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other agencies dealing with the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey and Irma are handled through special appropriations, he said. The funds Cedar Rapids is seeking come through the regular appropriation process, he said.

City officials estimate it will take about $600 million over 20 years to protect Cedar Rapids from future floods. This includes $269 million from the state — which already has been allocated — $110 million from Cedar Rapids and $73 million from the federal government. Another roughly $150 million is unfunded.

The federal money was authorized by Congress as part of the Water Resources Development Act, but that legislation includes numerous projects across the United States and no money has been appropriated to Cedar Rapids.

The funding level for regular appropriations will be decided between now and Dec. 8, Grassley said. That’s when the continuing resolution approved by Congress last week expires.

There’s no assurance funds for Cedar Rapids will be among the appropriations this fiscal year. Grassley said he and other members of the Iowa congressional delegation have been meeting with the budget office and Army Corps of Engineers “to get the priority for this program higher.”

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