Flood-Damaged Homes Continue To Be Demolished

Rock Rapids, Iowa — The town of Rock Rapids continues to recover from the flood of 2014.

In the aftermath of the flood, several Rock Rapids residents who live near the Rock River and Moon Creek found their homes destroyed, unlivable, or unsafe.

Three flood-damaged houses torn down in March, 2015
Three flood-damaged houses torn down in March, 2015

The City of Rock Rapids has been partnering with the federal government for a buyout program in which the city uses federal funds to help buy the property, demolishes the structures, and then turns the property into permanent green space. Not all of the properties were purchased at the same time, and that process continues, according to city officials.

Rock Rapids Mayor Jason Chase gives us an update on the program.

Chase says at that point they have some questions to answer.

He says there are some restrictions as to what they can do with the properties, which will remain property of the city. He says they can only build open shelter houses without walls, and there is even some question as to if they can install pavement besides sidewalks.

The mayor tells us that Monday night’s bid opening was a re-bid due to a technicality in the bid from Scott Ohlemann of Traxx Excavating.

He tells us what the city council did.

A firm from St. Cloud, Minnesota bid $398,755 for the next round of demolitions. Traxx Excavating of Rock Rapids bid $75,600, and the council accepted the lower bid.

Chase says the $6 million project will turn around 50 lots in the town into green space. He says that’s roughly five percent of the total occupied residential lots in Rock Rapids.

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