The city is taking the steps it said it would take to set up a system to expedite the buyouts of some 1,300 flood-damaged properties once federal money arrives to pay for much of the buyout expense.
This week, the City Council is expected to approve a contract with JCG Land Services Inc., which has an office in Cedar Rapids, for up to $69,736 to provide one-to-one consultations with the owners of buyout properties.
The city has said it intends to buy out about 1,300 properties.
A first group includes 192 properties in the proposed “greenway” that will be created along the river with the construction of a new levee and floodwall system. Most of those property owners have already agreed to buyouts.
A second group of 554 properties sit in area next to the greenway that is expected to be needed as a construction area for new levees and floodwalls and related construction and alteration of existing streets and sewers.
A third group of another 600 properties are outside both areas but have been damaged beyond reasonable repair.
The contract with JCG Land Services Inc., which a City Hall “project evaluation team” chose over three other bidders, will pay the company $60.43 per property. The company said it will devote 11 people to the project, can start immediately and will be able to interview 270 owners a week.
Of note, JCG Land Services was one of the bidders late last month in an inspection contract awarded to Prosource Technologies, Inc., Minneapolis, Minn. The council voted 5-4 on the earlier contract after great debate about passing over two local companies for the Minneapolis one. Prosource also bid for the new contract, which is now expected to go to JCG Land Services Inc.
In a related matter, the City Council is expected to award a contract to Iowa Title Co. (the company has several Iowa offices including a Cedar Rapids one) to provide title and abstract services for the properties the city intends to buy out. The 12-month contract with Iowa Title Co., which a City Hall review team chose over one other bidder, is not to exceed $962,000. The company has the capacity to complete work on 150 to 200 properties a week, a city staff memo to the City Council states.
The city intends to use federal Community Development Block Grant funds to pay for these services. The city’s expectation continues to be that a large infusion of additional CDBG money will be coming to the state of Iowa and the city of Cedar Rapids this summer.