The Sept. 18 article “Work underway on flood protection project” did a good job providing the sights, sounds and goals of the major flood protection infrastructure project under construction in Burlington. The project, once completed, will safeguard and reinvigorate Burlington’s downtown riverfront.
What the story did not mention, at least not explicitly, is the substantial role that state government played in making this project happen.
The Burlington project is one of many across the state — including projects in Storm Lake, Coralville and Cedar Rapids — with assistance from the Iowa Flood Mitigation Program.
These projects are putting people to work and are serving as catalysts for private investment. Based on past experience, they are likely to save taxpayers and property owners millions of dollars in the future by reducing or avoiding future flood damage. Completed projects in Waverly and Dubuque have helped protect people, homes, and businesses from catastrophic flooding.
The Burlington project was awarded $26 million in state assistance by the Iowa Flood Mitigation Board (on which I serve as an ex officio member). Once completed, the Burlington project is expected to prevent more than $155 million in future flood damage over the coming decades.
Democrats in the Iowa Senate led the way for the creation of the Iowa Flood Mitigation Program in SF2217 in 2012. Iowans should remember legislative accomplishments like this are possible and demand that legislators work in the public interest to make state government work for all of us, not just the special interests.
Sen. Rob Hogg