Iowa Cities, State Legislators Opposed Flood Plain Management Steps

(Unbelievable. - promoted by desmoinesdem)

As Iowa citizens brace themselves for another spring flood season, Iowa mayors, city council members and state lawmakers are doing everything they can to STOP even modest flood prevention planning from going forward in the Iowa Legislature. If you’re scratching you head and wondering why, it may be time to contact your elected officials and ask them. The following is an action alert sent out yesterday by the Iowa Environmental Council.  You can follow the link to a sample message to send to state lawmakers or copy and send to your elected city officials…

…more…after the jump…

Action Alert
Flood Prevention Legislation Being Nixed by Iowa Cities and Chambers of Commerce
Your calls and emails needed TODAY!

Across Iowa, residents are receiving dire warnings about a new round of potentially devastating floods this spring. Yet many lawmakers appear content to wrap up the 2010 legislative session without enacting any new, and badly needed, flood plain management policies. 

A modest flood plain management bill (Senate File 2316) that passed the Senate a few weeks ago was unnecessarily chopped down from its original version at the request of cities and chambers of commerce, but still included a few modest first steps to protect Iowans from the devastating impacts experienced in 1993 and 2008.

Unfortunately interest groups, such as the Iowa League of Cities, whose executive Board includes the Mayors of Coralville and Ottumwa as well as City Council members from Cedar Rapids and Des Moines, are actively opposing enactment of even the most modest of proposals.  Even more disappointing is that many of the communities who's residents suffered unimaginable devastation in the recent floods are lined up to oppose this bill, including the City of Des Moines and the City of Cedar Falls. See Executive Board of the League of Cities:

But these civic leaders from flood devastated communities are not alone in their efforts to nix even the most modest flood prevention efforts. They are joined by the Iowa Chambers Alliance, whose members include the Chambers of Commerce in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Cedar Falls, Waterloo and Iowa City. 

Modest and common sense provisions that were included in the Flood Plain management bill that passed the Senate include:

1) Development of a model ordinance for the regulation of the .2 percent flood plain (also known as the 500 year flood plain) to assist city and county governments.  The model ordinance would include suggested language on requirements for the purchase of flood insurance, limits on new development to mitigate future flood damage, and categories of development that should be prohibited. 

2) Requirement that any new construction of critical facilities in the 500 year flood plain be designed to maintain operation or be capable of being safely shut down in the event of a 500-year flood. These critical facilities include hospitals, jails, and emergency operations centers such as fire, police and rescue facilities.

This is the minimum – we should do a lot more. 

Please follow the link in this email to a sample email that you can send to your state lawmakers. 

Also please take the time to write an email or copy and paste the sample into an email to your city council and chamber of commerce contacts which you can find by following the links in this email, through a simple online search or at the League of Cities and Iowa Chambers Alliance websites.

Thank you for taking action!

Follow this LINK to take action.

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