(Des Moines) -- Iowa lawmakers have approved additional money to address lingering issues from flooding in 2019.
Earlier this month, the Senate approved an additional appropriation of $20 million to address flood-related issues. This was in addition to $15 million approved by the legislature last session. This week, both chambers approved an amended bill that would raise the amount to just over $21 million. Representative Charlie McConkey -- a Democrat from Council Bluffs and member of the state's Flood Mitigation Board -- says a board meeting last week found that $20 million would not be enough to fund 38 critical recovery projects.
"Out of those 38 projects, there are 28 that need necessary attention immediately," said McConkey. "The money appropriated -- the $20 million -- would not cover the 28 projects. Without those being funded and work started immediately, we are going to be looking at a long recovery and repair. A lot of this goes to levees that won't be pulling down federal money."
Board members considered funding the projects at 93 percent in attempt to stretch the money and require some local matching funds. Senator Tom Shipley -- a Republican from Nodaway -- says instead members of the House included the additional funding so that the projects would be covered. He says the projects cover several areas damaged by spring flooding.
"There are some issues that came up in the Flood Mitigation Board meeting as they prioritized things and found that there was going to be a real shortage on some very important projects," said Shipley. "One of those includes the areas where the damage comes and closes Interstates 680 and 29, so it has a definite impact on all of Iowa."
Senator Mark Costello -- a Republican from Imogene -- says the state money will be used to keep certain projects moving.
"Upon passage of this bill and signature by the governor, the Flood Mitigation Board is prepared to meet and they will approve the project and work on levees," said Costello. "The work has already started on the levees, so they will be able to continue that."
Representative Dave Sieck -- whose Mills County farm was hit hard by flooding -- thanked legislators for their assistance for flood victims.
"All the way along, I've received a lot of help," said Sieck. "I just want to tell you that all the people who were victims of this last year's flood truly appreciate everything you are doing in this chamber. I would also like to say that let's hope there's no extra flooding this year on the Mississippi or Missouri. The experts are telling us that could be not so, but I'm prayful that that happens."
Officials estimate there are nearly $200 million worth of flood recovery projects awaiting funding, but federal money could be used on some of those projects. The bill also includes an additional $333,000 to address issues and provide additional training at Glenwood Resource Center.