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Bettendorf city officials seek funds to buy homes in flood zones


Bettendorf city officials seek funds to buy homes in flood zones

BETTENDORF (AP) — Bettendorf officials are seeking federal funding that would allow the city to buy and demolish homes in flood zones.

The Quad-City Times reports Bettendorf City Planner John Soenksen presented the plan to apply for Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funds to aldermen on Monday. To apply for the funds, the city must match 15 percent of the funds, or $252,000. The aldermen authorized the money on Tuesday.

The application process is overseen by the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Soenksen says that if Bettendorf receives the $1.68 million in funds, the city could potentially acquire and demolish 10 of 20 homes prone to flooding in an area, where Duck and Greenway creeks intersect. The homes stand between 608 and 610 feet above sea level.

City officials say that Greenway Creek, which is a Duck Creek tributary, flows through an underground tube and empties into Duck Creek. When the water levels rise during a storm, water in the tube rushing into Duck Creek flows backward and overflows into homes.

According to the city planner, a Homeland Security representative encouraged him to apply for the total amount of funds, which is available to all cities in Iowa. Soenksen says that Bettendorf cannot make any offers to purchase properties because of lack of funds so 'This is just an opportunity to see if we can get some money.'

Soenksen also says the city wants to update its flood area management ordinance, which could help reduce flood insurance rates for homeowners. According to the city planner, Bettendorf wasnts to update its development standards for structures in the regulated flood zone and apply for credit through the National Flood Insurance Program's Community Rating System.

He says the city's actions could reduce rates by 5 or 10 percent.

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