Governor Kim Reynolds says it is too early to assess how much more state money may be needed for flood recovery.
“We’re going to continue to work with the federal government, work the Corps, work with FEMA, work with HUD to see what the total cost is,” Reynolds says. “What’s the federal share? What’s the state’s share?”
An initial estimate of flood damage released by state officials this spring topped $1.6 billion. Reynolds said late last month there had not been an updated estimate. The governor does not believe it’s necessary to hold a special legislative session this fall so the Iowa House and Senate can vote to appropriate more state tax dollars for flood-related projects. The governor says those decisions can wait until the Iowa legislature reconvenes in 2020.
“It’s a fine line because if you rush in and pay too much of it, then the federal government doesn’t think that they have a role in it and they do,” Reynolds says, “so we have to balance all aspects moving forward and taking advantage of the dollars they have available for the levees or for the buy-out.”
This spring, the Iowa legislature set aside $15 million in state funds for flood-related projects that are getting federal money, but which require local matching funds, too. Earlier this week, a state board distributed that 15-million dollars to the communities of Hamburg, Hornick, Pacific Junction and Freedonia as well as Mills County.