Council Bluffs has been awarded an $8.4 million federal grant to make its levee system more robust.
U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and others praised the grant in an announcement. The money comes from the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration.
The federal dollars will be matched by more than $2 million in local investment. The work is expected to contribute to the creation of 95 jobs.
“Southwest Iowa saw in 2019 the devastating effects that flooding can have on communities,” Grassley said through his office. “The 2019 floods and the years of floods before that have shown how valuable good mitigation and control infrastructure can be for our communities. Thankfully, the Economic Development Administration has awarded an $8.4 million grant to Council Bluffs for improvements to flood control infrastructure. These resources will help prepare us for and prevent disasters in the future.”
Reynolds said, “Iowa continues to leverage federal resources to help local communities not only to plan for the next natural disaster, but be prepared to withstand it, and recover more quickly in the future.”
Rep. Cindy Axne, D-3rd, said, “nearly a year after devastating flooding hurt communities along the Missouri River and throughout southwest Iowa, we are still securing investments that not only help rebuild to make these areas whole, but also to ensure that economic prosperity is not threatened by the growing threats of natural disaster and the effects of the climate crisis.”
“While on its face this is an important grant to improve our levee system in Council Bluffs, it also represents the kind of federal funds that will help create economic opportunities and protect our regional economy from future threats, promoting stability and economic growth for years to come,” Axne continued.
Dana Gartzke of the Commerce Department said the money will be used to add seepage and stability beams. Officials said they anticipate the improvements will spur private investment in a nearby opportunity zone that spans much of the nonresidential area from about West Broadway south to Lake Manawa. The zones come with tax incentives to spur development in distressed areas.
— Gaarder with the World-Herald contributed from Omaha.