Restoring hope takes time.
Hamburg has been in the flood recovery process for months. But the reality is that recovery will take many years.
In the beginning of such a fantasticly large undertaking, Hamburg residents simply needed some hope. And that is what was delivered, more than just in dollar figures, by the Flood Recovery Fund.
The town’s residents take an evaluation everyday in a search for normal. They just go down to Stoner Drug and get a Cherry Coke.
That would sure be nice.
For a time, Stoner Drug, which is in the process of rebuilding, was facing losing its famed soda fountain. Fortunately, the whole thing was a misunderstanding. Regulations were not blocking the build. The soda fountain will come back, giving Hamburg residents a place to congregate and feel that sense of normal.
It’s been a full on fight to get to normal.
From writing long grants to filling out longer applications for assistance, the City of Hamburg has had to roll up its sleeves and work long hours.
They celebrate achievement by checking it off a big list in the city hall council chamber. They cheer businesses as they return, 18 full and four partial out of 34. Some businesses, Manildra Milling Corporation, AgriVision Equipment and Bartlett Grain of Hamburg are investing in new projects. The Great Western Bank hopes to be back in October. A local chiropractor operating in Sidney, is seeking state funds to return to Hamburg. The Colonial Theater is making progress.
Housing is taking steps forward with a fill in program that’s soon to add two new houses. Four more new houses in the fill program could be close behind.
The city continues to find ways to grow in new directions, away from the flood plain.
For water security, the town is looking into rural water, which could supply processed water in the event of another emergency.
That water could help with a potential industrial expansion or provide fire protection for the town as well.
None of it would be possible without the many partners Hamburg has relied on during this time of crisis.
Crain said she hopes the slogan of “Luv the Gov” will take hold in Hamburg. She says the state help was immediate and has been immense.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds gets credit as does Paul Trombino III, chief operations officer for the governor. There’s a lot of folks to the thank at Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management including Director Joyce Flinn. City Clerk Sheryl Owen called out the name of Dusty Pogones of Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management as being helpful too.
David Sieck, the state legislative representative for Hamburg, was instrumental in helping too.
Locally, the recovery efforts of the city have counted on Mayor Crain, City Clerk Owen, Council member Kent Benefiel and Utilities Manager Al Dovel. They’ve been joined by Earl "Speck" Hendrickson, a current member of the Fremont County Economic Development Board and a member of the Hamburg Economic Development Fund, which has raised $100K.
Greg Connell, one of the new owners of KMA Radio out of Shenandoah, who has been hired by Fremont County Economic Development, has helped Hamburg too.
Hamburg Flood: Navigating the Future
Restoring hope takes time.