EDA: $8.4 Million Invested to Improve Flood Control Infrastructure Near Opportunity Zone in Council Bluffs, IA

Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $8.4 million grant to the city of Council Bluffs, Iowa, to make flood control infrastructure improvements needed to protect businesses and make the region resilient to future natural disasters. The EDA grant, which will be located near a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone, will be matched with more than $2 million in local investment and is expected to create 95 jobs.

“The Trump Administration continues to work diligently to rebuild communities devastated by natural disasters, including the flooding that ravaged Iowa in spring of 2019,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “This critical infrastructure improvement project will protect Council Bluffs’ businesses and industries, as well as strengthen economic resilience should future natural disasters impact the area.”

“This investment will provide improvements to the city of Council Bluffs’ levee system to include the addition of robust seepage and stability beams,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “The upgrades to the flood risk reduction system will ensure prior and future economic investments in the city will remain effective and contribute to overall economic growth in the nearby region and Opportunity Zone.”

“Iowa continues to leverage federal resources to help local communities not only to plan for the next natural disaster, but be prepared to withstand it, and recover more quickly in the future,” said Governor Kim Reynolds. “We’re grateful to Secretary Ross and the Trump Administration for their partnership from the very beginning in response to severe flooding that devastated communities in southwest Iowa.”

“Southwest Iowa saw in 2019 the devastating effects that flooding can have on communities,” said Senator Chuck Grassley. “The 2019 floods and the years of floods before that have shown how valuable good mitigation and control infrastructure can be for our communities. Thankfully, the Economic Development Administration has awarded an $8.4 million grant to Council Bluffs for improvements to flood control infrastructure. These resources will help prepare us for and prevent disasters in the future.”

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency, which EDA funds to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

The funding announced today will catalyze private investment in a nearby Opportunity Zone. Created by President Donald J. Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017Opportunity Zones are spurring economic development in economically-distressed communities nationwide. In June 2019, EDA added Opportunity Zones as an Investment Priority, which increases the number of catalytic Opportunity Zone-related projects that EDA can fund to fuel greater public investment in these areas. To learn more about the Commerce Department’s work in Opportunity Zones, please visit EDA’s Opportunity Zones webpage. To learn more about the Opportunity Zone program, see the Opportunity Now resources webpage. To learn more about Opportunity Zone best practices, see the recently released White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council Report (PDF) to President Trump.

This project is funded by the Additional Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Act of 2019 (Pub. L. 116-20) (PDF), which provided EDA with $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program (PDF) funds for disaster relief and recovery for areas affected by Hurricanes Florence, Michael, and Lane, Typhoons Yutu and Mangkhut, wildfires, volcanic eruptions, and other major natural disasters occurring in calendar year 2018, and tornadoes and floods occurring in calendar year 2019, under the Robert T. Stafford Act Act. Please visit EDA’s Disaster Supplemental webpage for more information.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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