City should continue to serve those facing natural disasters

Marshalltown Parks and Recreation Director Terry Gray this week suggested the city stop its practice of providing sandbags for flood protection assistance.

While we agree the city’s role in providing this assistance needs to be evaluated, we think discontinuing the effort would be shortsighted.

Marshalltown has a history of lending a helping hand in times of crisis.

This means when a windstorm flattened most of the city a couple of years ago, the compost facility stretched its hours and accepted the storm’s waste without charge for a period of time.

The city offered the assistance, it seems, because it was the right thing to do when so many residents were burdened with such a massive mess.

We think the city should continue to have a role in providing flood relief supplies moving forward.

If the effort has become stressful to staff, then it needs to be evaluated and changed to something that will work.

If billing has been an issue, figure out a better way to collect.

If the policy doesn’t make sense, adopt one that does.

However, residents in crisis should be able to rely on the city for some immediate protection during a flood.

It’s great that Gray brought this matter to the council’s attention at this time. Being prepared for the next natural disaster is important.

However, the city should continue to find a way to provide flood protection assistance to property owners.