Flood recovery efforts should pick up some speed soon on the University of Iowa campus. The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division are opening up a satellite location in Iowa City that will employ about 20 people. Crystal Payton with the FEMA Recovery Office in Des Moines says the new center is likely to open on Monday and is expected to be in operation for six to ten months.
“The activities will involve everything from fieldwork, literally going out and measuring and looking at and making sure that work is being done and that projects are eligible…to some fairly complicated equations and regulatory reviews,” Payton said. One of the center’s top priorities will be rebuilding Hancher Auditorium.
“The rebuilding of that is going to take a lot dedicated and trained staff to work through all of the regulatory issues surrounding it,” Payton said. “So, it only seemed appropriate to have staff on site and able to work closely with university officials whenever they are available.” So far, FEMA has obligated nearly 150-million dollars to more than 100 recovery projects at the University of Iowa. Payton says now that recovery money has started coming in it’s important to have a location in Iowa City.
“It’s certainly much more convenient to have them established there in Iowa City so there can be close and have daily communications and reviews and that kind of thing,” Payton said. FEMA also has satellite locations in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and the northeast Iowa town of Dike.