posted on May 25, 2012 13:28
Damage from the 2011 tornadoes still remains, which has spurred an upcoming grant for Jefferson County.
The $7 million grant is being provided by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
A public meeting was held on May 15 at Warrior City Hall by two representatives from the Jefferson County Office of Community and Economic Development. Yolanda Burrells-Caver and Lynn Smith, who are development specialists with the office, went over the details of what can be done with the grant.
Funds from the grant can be used for unmet needs such as rehabilitating houses that are still damaged. Neighborhoods throughout Jefferson County still have houses with tarps on them because of damage to rooftops.
Repair on infrastructure such as bridges or streetlights can also be paid for by the grant. This also includes public buildings and facilities. Houses too damaged to be repaired can be demolished with the permission of the homeowner or if the home has been abandoned.
The funds will also help in clearing debris in public places.
More public meetings will be scheduled as the Community and Economic Development office gathers more information on the needs of citizens. It is not yet know when the grant will be provided as a plan to provide for citizens’ needs will have to be sent to HUD for approval.
“It’s still a work in progress,” said Smith.
Burrells-Caver and Smith said that copies of the plan will be made public and can be reviewed by citizens.
Warrior city clerk Demetra Mixon said that some debris still remains in Warrior that may need to be cleared. Councilman Theodore Hines, suggested that disaster plans be drawn up, as well the building of several more storm shelters.
Present at the announcement were Brentice and Connie McDonald, Fultondale residents who lost their home to the April tornadoes. They pointed out that some areas in Fultondale are in need of repair and cleanup.
They expressed hope that the grant will help the community.
“Maybe it will bring it back up to where it was or make even better,” said Connie McDonald.
The grant only applies to people and places affected by the storms from last year, which killed over 250 people and left many parts of Alabama ruined.
For more information, call the Jefferson County Office of Community and Economic Development at (205) 325-5095.