Iowa officials are hoping the federal government waives the requirement that state and local governments come up with "matching funds" when the feds extend grants to cover the flood recovery efforts of local governments. For example, when the federal government pays for debris removal — garbage collection — after a natural disaster, the city or county that’s in the disaster zone normally has to cover 10 percent of the costs while the feds pay for 90 percent.
Governor Chet Culver says state officials — including Iowa’s congressional delegation — are making an aggressive pitch to get 100 percent coverage from the federal government. "We’re hopeful that in the coming days we’ll get an answer," Culver says.
But Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs says if the feds require a 10 percent match from Iowa cities and counties, then it’s likely the legislature will step in and the state will come up with that money. "Whatever we do — the rebuilding, the recovery — should make Iowa a better place," Gronstal says, "not just the same, not just get it back to where it was, but get it back to a better situation."
Gronstal warns, though, that it’s too soon to say the worst is over. "Keep your fingers crossed that the water is receding," Gronstal says. "This is an ongoing crisis, ongoing set of disasters for Iowa and it’s border-to-border — east and west and north and south," Gronstal says.
Gronstal made his comments on Iowa Public Television.