Audit Questions Use Of FEMA Funds For U Of I Flood Recovery

Ann McClure's picture

The University of Iowa suffered a setback Thursday in its effort to rebuild from a catastrophic 2008 flood when an audit recommended the federal government reverse its long-standing promise to pay the costs of replacing damaged music and art buildings.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s commitment since January 2009 that federal funding would pay to replace Hancher Auditorium, a studio arts building, a school of music and a recital hall was erroneous, the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said.

Those buildings should have been repaired in the same locations, not relocated and replaced, because they were salvageable under federal rules, the report said.

The projects should be suspended, and $84 million in federal and state funds promised to them — the extra cost of replacing instead of repairing — should be diverted for “better use,” the report said.

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