Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The rebuilding continues

It has been almost 9 months since the flood and we are still waiting. Waiting for the Feds to decide if they will helps us. Waiting for the State to decide - waiting for the city to wake up and do something other than give us empty promises. Oh, there has been money coming in but very little of it goes to the people - almost all of it is going to the city to rebuild their offices. But even that isn't happening.

This story from CBS news does a pretty good job of showing what some of us are doing.



That lady is one who is rebuilding despite all of the empty promises. As those of you who read this blog know, the store where I work made that decision early and we have been open since last August. There are still not very many stores downtown. We are truly a "destination store" now.

We are continuing even though we have been told we will be torn down when the new flood control levees are built. They say they will buy us out but we have no idea when or even for sure if that will happen. We have been told that will take 5 to 8 years to decide. In the mean time we have to move on.

The only real help for the home owners has come from the churches and private sector. Many faith communities have brought in work missions to help rebuild. I know my church has invested thousands of dollars to remodel part of our church so we can better host mission teams over the next few years. This is were the real help is coming from.

I will say, we had a crew from AmeriCorp NCCC here in February doing a"spike" - helping to rebuild. I have a lot of respect for that group so I won't get on them. (I'll have to elaborate on that some time.)

We have had politicians visit but nothing much is happening. Many just do a fly-over or don't even go into the affected area to see for themselves. We get a lot of words - just like you heard in that news story - but no real help yet.

Yesterday, Cedar Rapids voted to add a 1% local option sales tax to go to rebuilding peoples homes. I hope that the money actually goes to the people that need it. And I hope that others around the country will understand that we aren't just sitting here asking to be bailed out. We are working hard - but, yes, we could use some help.

Enough of my ranting for the night. Cedar Rapids will survive. Smulekoff's has survived.

And, as always, Sunbob wishes you

PEACE.
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