Residents of the Village of Millbury and Lake Township received an update Wednesday on recovery services available to them in the wake of the June 5 tornado responsible for the deaths of six people and millions of dollars in property damage in their community.
Millbury Mayor Mike Timmons said the village and township are waiving zoning permit fees for storm-related reconstruction projects and the Wood County Building Inspection Department plans to open a satellite office in the township to process building permits.
Residents who need to raze foundations should contact the Northwestern Water and Sewer District which will sever water lines so they don’t get crushed during a demolition.
Officials at the meeting, held at the Millbury Fireman’s Recreation Center, said there were several services available:
• Mike Sibbersen, Wood County Auditor, reminded residents with damages to fill out forms to adjust the appraised property valuations for next year’s taxes. Affected residents should contact Brian Jones at the auditor’s office, (419) 354-9174.
• Lisa Mora is the case manager for the Long Term Recovery Team, which is overseeing assistance efforts. Her office is located at Calvary Lutheran Church, 1930 Bradner Road, Northwood, and she can be reached at (419) 836-8986.
Mora told residents it generally takes about a week for her to process assistance applications submitted to the recovery team. In some cases she will personally inspect damaged property.
• Scott Hicks, President of the Wood County Bar Association, said the association scheduled a free clinic Thursday evening at Cedar Creek Church, Perrysburg Township, to answer questions. Another clinic will be held, he said, if there is a need.
• Roy Nelson, disaster response coordinator for Adventist Community Services, said his agency expects to complete an agreement within a week for a building for donated clothing and household items that will be distributed to victims.
The facility will be staffed by volunteers, he said.
Brad Gilbert, director of the Wood County Emergency Management Agency, said county and state officials were “crunching numbers” of damage estimates to bolster the state’s appeal to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s decision to reject Ohio’s request for federal disaster assistance.
Governor Ted Strickland announced last week he’d appeal the decision.
“Hopefully it will make a difference,” Gilbert said, adding the governor has 30 days to complete the appeal.
The governor said he’s also sending a letter to the Small Business Administration to request loan assistance but Gilbert noted the SBA must wait for a decision by FEMA.
Mayor Timmons and Mike George, director of United Way of Wood County, both used the meeting to also praise the efforts of volunteers.
George said the United Way’s volunteer reception center registered 3,500 volunteers in Wood County and 1,200 in Ottawa County. In addition, there were hundreds of volunteers that weren’t registered.
Mayor Timmons said many local teens were helping clear fields of debris within a day or so of the storm.
He urged residents to contact local authorities with their requests for storm-related assistance.
“Tell us what you need,” he said.
Much of the money generated by some fundraising events, however, has yet to be turned into the United Way or the recovery committee, the mayor said.
Organizers of events with questions on how to get proceeds to the United Way or the committee should contact George at (419) 352-2390.