“Smart Growth” funding will help communities recover and redevelop after weather-related natural disasters of 2008
The cities of Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Coralville, Iowa City and New Hartford, Iowa, will receive a total of $200,000 in technical assistance for their continuing efforts to recover and redevelop from 2008's weather-related natural disasters, federal and state officials announced.
Faced with rebuilding from last year's floods and tornadoes, the five communities have the opportunity to redevelop in ways that can help revitalize their economies, protect environmental resources and public health and enhance quality of life for citizens. An additional focus is on development approaches to make the communities better suited to withstand future disasters.
Administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Smart Growth program, the funding to help the five cities comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as part of that agency's Emergency Support Function (ESF) #14 component of the National Response Plan. The focus of ESF #14 is on long-term community recovery and mitigation efforts.
EPA and FEMA are partners with the Rebuild Iowa Office (RIO) and the Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED) in providing the direct technical assistance. A team of national experts organized by the partner agencies will focus on different projects in each community:
• Cedar Falls has requested assistance in expanding home ownership and rental choices in portions of the city deemed most appropriate for new growth and infill development. The city also seeks to identify strategies for implementing green infrastructure approaches in flood-prone areas.
• Cedar Rapids has requested assistance in identifying existing or potential barriers to more sustainable development in its development policies and codes.
• Coralville has requested assistance with creating a community vision, and ensuring that codes and ordinances can help accommodate future growth through infill redevelopment and dedication of open space in flood-prone areas.
• Iowa City has requested assistance in redeveloping the South Gilbert Street Commercial Corridor. EPA will help identify strategies for accommodating future growth in the corridor and for increasing green infrastructure and open space areas to mitigate future flooding.
• New Hartford has requested assistance with storm water management and prevention of future flooding. EPA will help organize a workshop outlining green infrastructure strategies to address storm water and flooding issues.