Today, Congressman Rod Blum is pleased to announce that his top priority - securing federal funding for the Cedar Rapids flood wall - has come to fruition. The Army Corps of Engineers announced $117 million has been appropriated to build the needed infrastructure in Cedar Rapids.
Congressman Blum commented, “As we pass the 10th Anniversary of the 2008 Cedar Rapids flood, I am pleased to inform you that we are are receiving $117 million to complete the Cedar Rapids Flood Project. I have worked hard to ensure Cedar Rapids receives the needed federal funds to secure and protect the City of Five Seasons from future flooding disasters. Since being elected to Congress, it has been my priority to secure our communities and support policies to promote economic development. Protecting Cedar Rapids from flood damage not only protects the personal property and lives of Iowans, but it also gives business owners peace of mind that their economic investments into our community will be protected.”
Since his first day in Congress, Congressman Blum has been working to build relationships and market the importance of this infrastructure investment in Cedar Rapids. After facing a headwind for his first two years, Congressman Blum achieved a breakthrough with the Trump Administration, when they actively partnered with Congressman Blum and the rest of the Iowa delegation to bring real results for Iowa and, in particular, Cedar Rapids.
Here are some of the highlights from Congressman Blum’s work to secure federal funding for the Cedar Rapids flood wall:
Congress authorized $73 million for the Cedar Rapids Flood Control Project to help prevent future flooding.
With the funding delayed, a letter was sent to the Army Corps of Engineers requesting they make the project a priority. The Corps responded with a letter indicating that they considered the project a good investment.
Letter sent to the House Energy & Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee requesting that all projects from the previously passed Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) be funded in the Omnibus funding bill.
Letter sent to President Obama and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requesting funds authorized by WRRDA be included in their Fiscal Year 2017 Budget. Unfortunately, President Obama’s budget did not include the requested funding.
Congressman Blum introduced a bipartisan amendment to the 2016 WRDA legislation calling for the Cedar Rapids project to be expedited by the Administration. It was approved and signed into law. The amendment made it very clear to the Administration that Congress should make this a priority. The WRDA passed the U.S. House of Representatives with bipartisan support.
Congressman Blum met with OMB Director Mulvaney multiple times at the White House to advocate for the funding to be released for the Cedar Rapids project. Director Mulvaney has indicated he is aware of the project and agreed that the funding for these type of projects should be subject to a different cost/benefit ratio due to the lower property values and smaller size of the city. He also expressed appreciation for the high amount of local and state dollars that have already been committed to the project.
In addition to meetings with Director Mulvaney, Congressman Blum held several meetings with the Army Corps of Engineers informing them of the positive impact flood protection will have on our families and small businesses in Cedar Rapids.
Congressman Blum introduced an amendment to the Water Resources Development Act of 2018 to prioritize the completion of the Cedar Rapids flood mitigation project. The amendment was adopted and passed the House.
Today, it is announced Cedar Rapids will receive $117,000,000 of funding from the federal government to build the flood wall in Cedar Rapids.