The City of Mapleton, Iowa, will receive nearly $300,000 in federal dollars to help it recover from the April 9, 2011, tornado that wrecked part of the town.
Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management announced the $295,571 award Friday. It is designed to help Mapleton cope with a diminished tax base. The city projects it will lose slightly more than 5 percent of its revenue in the next few years because of tornado damage. The storm destroyed 46 homes and 21 business properties.
Called a Community Disaster Loan, it is designed to help communities maintain essential services after a disaster, according to Iowa Homeland Security.
Pat Hall, recovery bureau chief for the agency, said it normally does not take 18 months to obtain such a loan. The city requested the loan immediately after the tornado, but 2011 was particularly rife with disasters.
“We came close a few times, but the money just wasn't there to be sent to Mapleton,” Hall said.
In April 2011, hundreds of people were killed by tornadoes in Alabama. The next month, more than 150 were killed by a single tornado in Joplin, Mo.
Mapleton, which is located about 45 miles southeast of Sioux City, has about 1,220 residents. No one was killed in the April 9 tornado.
Auditors retained by the city will review the books to find where shortages are, and the money will be allocated for the sewer fund, water fund or wherever it's needed, said Karla Uhl, Mapleton city clerk.
“We'll transfer that money around as we can see exactly how much we lost in each fund,” she said.
The city is to repay the Federal Emergency Management Agency loan within five years, but it's possible to get an extension or have the loan forgiven.
For example, FEMA forgave the $94,000 loan it made to Oakville, in eastern Iowa, after the 2008 floods, Hall said.
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