The Rebuild Iowa Commission has identified housing and small business assistance as two of the most immediate needs of Iowans hit by the flooding and tornadoes. Commission member Mark Wandro says it quickly became evident the need among home and business owners.
Wandro says he talked with a 73-year-old business man just this past weekend who got a Small Business Administration loan for 5.9 percent, which is about one percent cheaper than the market rate for loans. But, he says the man would be 103 years old by the time the loan matures. Wandro says he would support waiving the state sales taxes on items purchased to make home or business repairs.
The commission is also urging the Department of Natural Resources to beef up water monitoring in the wake of this summer’s flooding. Commission member Brent Halling of Perry says one short term suggestion is to temporarily boost the staff at the D.N.R. to allow them to take more water samples.
Halling says that would assure the public and give them good information on the water quality. Halling, who also serves as deputy state Ag Secretary, says there are several wastewater treatment facilities that still need repairs after being inundated with floodwater.
The commission just completed a two-day work session and will make a final report to the governor on September 2nd.