Friday, October 15, 2010

Beware of the costs of an Enviornmental II study for Business Buyouts in Cedar Rapids

The challenges from the recovery from the Flood of 2008 continue in Cedar Rapids for property owners, including small business. Senator Rob Hogg was on WMT AM-600 and a flood recovery question was asked.

Second district congressional candidates spar over flood recovery - Radio Iowa
The two major party candidates who hope to represent Iowa's second congressional district are squaring off over flood recovery plans for Cedar Rapids. ...

Cedar Rapids renters to get flood assistance - Chicago Tribune
The Cedar Rapids City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved creation of a disaster recovery assistance program for renters. The program is called the ...

We received the following e-mail today concerned about Business Buyouts in Cedar Rapids:

Please make sure to read the email sent this week from the Business Long Term Recovery Team at the Chamber!!

This message is for anyone who has or plans on participating in the “voluntary” commercial property buyout process.


At the 11th hour participants in this program were informed that to complete the buyout process they might be responsible for the costs of an Environmental II study and any resulting costs of cleanup of their property if contamination was found. Some people have agreed to this requirement while others have objected and not signed their agreements.

Status of the Issue

Currently the City and State are trying to come up with a plan to either reimburse those who have already paid for the testing or pay for the testing if it has not been done yet. The issue of who will pay for the cleanup has not been resolved but is also being addressed.

Our Position

It is our position that the commercial property owner should not be responsible for either the testing or the cleanup. It will be nearly impossible to prove who is responsible for contamination on your property if it is found. The flood deposited lots of stuff from lots of different locations.

Our Recommendation

Our recommendation at this time is to NOT sign any buyout agreement that holds you responsible for Environmental II testing and any resulting cleanup if required. You can ask for an extension of your buyout agreement until this issue is resolved. Do NOT feel pressured to sign the agreement at this time! If you have already signed a buyout agreement rest assured that we will insist that any decisions made will be retroactive.

Gary Ficken
Doug Schumacher

It's important to slow down, when one is dealing with contacts, including buyout agreements. It continues to be a challenging period for many small businesses and property owners impacted by the Flood of 2008, let alone the recession and challenges over the past two plus years.

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