Thursday, December 24, 2009

FEMA Reconsiders, Decides Public Library Provides an Essential Community Service

Link to December 24 Cedar Rapids Gazette article, "FEMA reverses, grants relocation money to Cedar Rapids library".

Excerpt: The Cedar Rapids Public Library received notice Wednesday that FEMA approved the second appeal for temporary relocation assistance following the flood of 2008, stating that the library does, in fact, provide essential community services.

The news was announced first by Sen. Tom Harkin’s office.

Previous attempts to get reimbursement funding from FEMA for temporary relocation were denied based on federal law which does not list libraries among essential community services, such as police and fire departments.

“This is a major victory not just for the Cedar Rapids Public Library, but for any library that may be in a similar situation in the future,” said Bob Pasicznyuk, library director.

The money will cover 18 months of rent, utilities, and other expenses, but library officials aren’t sure yet which 18 months it will apply to. The library has been without its central location in downtown Cedar Rapids since the flood.

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