Hardin Turns Over Public Flood-Damage Figures; Seeks Individual Damage Assistance Too

Des Moines County Emergency Services Director Gina Hardin announced this(Tues) morning that she’s given the Federal Emergency Management Agency…FEMA…a figure of $325,000, as the amount of damage sustained by public entities as a result of the flooding. That number could increase, as the waters recede. Hardin also told the County Supervisors that she has now filed for Individual Assistance as well, based on damages suffered by a number of local businesses, mainly in downtown Burlington. She says FEMA officials will be in the county Monday to confirm the damges first-hand.  

In a related development, County Engineer Brian Carter says Highway 99…which also took on floodwater…could be reopened this(Tues) afternoon or tomorrow(Weds) morning. Continue Reading

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Councilman Tim Scott Angry about Burlington Crime

Toward the end of last night’s Burlington City Council meeting, Councilman Tim Scott had a melt-down of sorts….. Just a reminder, there is a Community Crime Prevention Roundtable event tonight. The purpose is to discuss the crime issue and come up with ways to help reduce it. The Mayor and members from the Burlington Police Department will also be there. The meeting is open to the public tonight and starts at 6:30 at the Free Methodist Church at 916 Pine Street. Continue Reading

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Emergency Management Folks Tally Flood-Damage Figures

She’s compiling the numbers to see how much damage the flooding has done to public property in Burlington and Des Moines County, with an eye toward reimbursement funds from FEMA…..but Emergency Management Coordinator Gina Hardin won’t apply for individual assistance unless she gets more feedback from homeowners and businesses. Hardin can be reached at 753-8206. In Lee County, Emergency Management Coordinator Steve Cirinna says they’re not looking for any help right now, but that could change.  Cirinna’s office can be reached at 319-372-4124. Continue Reading

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IA River Flood Potential Lessens

The flood potential in eastern Iowa along the Iowa River has diminished enough that the Iowa Corps of Engineers has downgraded its response from “high alert” to monitoring mode. A spokesman for Johnson County Emergency Management, Terrence Neuzil, says that means they can keep watching, but downstream flooding in Columbus Junction, Wapello and Oakville has become less likely. Projections last week at one point showed the water possibly going over the spillway around Wednesday or Thursday of this week. That water went over the spillway in 1993 and 2008 and caused severe flooding downstream. Neuzil says they now will watch for a significant change in the weather that would dump more rain into the watershed. Continue Reading

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Council Says No (again) to 5-Year Homebuilding Incentive

Last week, the unofficial consensus was 3-2 against the proposal…and last(Mon) night the Burlington City Council voted officially to affirm that call, turning thumbs down on a 5-year, citywide property tax abatement for residential development.  

Councilman Tim Scott says 3 of his colleagues have blinders on but Councilwoman Becky Anderson…who’s done a lot of downtown re-development…says the incentives should go to the developer, not the homebuyer, as the 3-year abatement does now.  

Anderson, Becky Shockley and Mayor Shane McCampbell voted against the extension, while Scott and Bob Fleming were in favor of it. Continue Reading

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Community Invited to Discuss Recent Crime Tomorrow Night

Crime in the Burlington area is an issue that has many people talking and concerned. Tomorrow night is an opportunity to express those concerns at the “Community Crime Prevention Round Table”. We asked organizer of the event, Andrea Horton, why she’s taken it upon herself to gather officials and citizens for a discussion… Horton says a couple police officers and the Mayor will be present… The meeting is open to the public tomorrow night and starts at 6:30 at the Free Methodist Church located at 916 Pine Street. Continue Reading

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Wapello Resident One of Two Dead in Highway 61 Crash

A 64-year-old Wapello man is dead after a head-on collision that occurred about 5 miles north of Grandview on Highway 61 Sunday afternoon. 22-year-old Daniel Johnson of Naperville, Illinois was driving north and crossed the center line. Richard Byrant of Wapello and Johnson both steered toward the southbound shoulder, trying to avoid each other, and collided head-on. Both died in the crash. Authorities believe Johnson was trying to pass another vehicle on the highway. Continue Reading

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Council to Hold Hearing on Expanded Development Incentives

The Burlington City Council meets later today(Mon) and will hold three public hearings. One is on a proposal to offer residential developers longer property-tax abatements, no matter where in the city they build…another that would require landlords to post rental permits in each one of their apartments…and a third that would put restrictions on the display of realistic-looking air-guns and other “hobby”-type firearms.

 

Council members tonight(Mon) will also recognize Battalion Chief Ken Morris of the Burlington Fire Department, who’s retiring. The meeting begins at 5:30 and is open to the public. Continue Reading

A Symphony of Sump-Pumps

The sound of many sump-pump motors in downtown Burlington is something you’ll hear in the coming days, as the flood-water begins to recede and the Market Street pumping station returns to normal operations. The station stopped pumping wastewater Saturday night as the Mississippi River continued its steady rise…but meteorologist Rich Kinney of the National Weather Service in Davenport says the crest yesterday(Sun) was not as high as expected.  23.65-feet is about 1/2-foot lower than predicted. Kinney says it’s possible we could see some heavy rainfall and surface flooding tonight(Mon), but it’s not expected to be everywhere. A number of businesses near the riverfront experienced sewage backups and have their sump-pumps going, including Frank Millard and Company…Camera Land…the Preservation Station…and the 9-story Burlington Apartments, which are without elevator or cable-TV service due to water in the basement. Continue Reading