Cedar Rapids to receive $117 million in federal funding for flood project
WASHINGTON –Today, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) applauded the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE)announcement that it will award 117 million dollars in federal funding to the Cedar Rapids flood mitigation project. This funding comes more than 10 years after record-breaking flooding in the city caused approximately $5.4 billion in damages.
“Over the past ten years, the City of Cedar Rapids has worked tirelessly to develop and advance this project which will protect its residents and businesses from future flooding events. Hundreds of millions of state and local dollars have already been committed, but what has been missing is this critical federal share of the project.
“In addition to efforts by the city and state governments, for years, I have pushed the Corps to review its flawed benefit-cost ratio (BCR) metrics, which disadvantage projects in rural states, and find a way to fund projects like this. I am proud to see our combined efforts pay off today—this funding will not only protect the city, but also give businesses the certainty they need to confidently invest in the Cedar Rapids community.”
Senator Ernst’s efforts to secure funding for Cedar Rapids:
September 2016: Senator Joni Ernst and Senator Chuck Grassley send a letter to the USACE demanding answerson why flood mitigation projects in the Cedar Rapids region have not been completed.
October 2016: Senators Grassley and Ernst send a letter to USACEseeking insight into a flawed policy that has led to the downgrading of flood control projects in Iowa cities.
November 2016: Senator Ernst meets with head of USACEto discuss prioritization of Cedar Rapids flood mitigation project.
February 2018: Senator Ernst, Senator Grassley, and Congressman Blum send a letter to Lt. General Semonite and Secretary James requesting further information on how the USACE makes certain project funding decisions.
May 2018:America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 passed out of the EPW Committee and included an Ernst provision addressing the flawed BCR metrics and calling for prioritization of the Cedar Rapids flood control project.
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