Dan Foley, a former Montgomery County commissioner, is a friend of Casey Skapik, owner of Keowee Auto Sales, whose father started the dealership in the late 1970s.
Foley said Friday he admires Skapik for continuing to pay his seven employees during the long re-building process and for committing to re-building in the same location.
“The fact that he rebuilt ... I think it’s really good for the community,” Foley said. “It’s a great Dayton small business, and I’m happy for him.”
About 20 used car dealers dotted a stretch of Dixie Drive to the Keowee Street Bridge, Sam Ashburn Jr., owner of Dale’s Auto Sales, told this news outlet in November.
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“Let’s see,” Ashburn said last year. “There’s probably eight or nine dealerships that, as of right now, are still gone.”He doesn’t expect most of them to come back.
Of the 50 cars on his lot, 47 were damaged. He said he learned too late that his insurance required a separate deductible on each one of them. His car port was thrown over the building next door.
“That big sign I got out front, they found that down close to the interstate,” Ashburn said.
He said they worked day and night to re-open. “I was out of commission for two months, never sold a car, never had a customer.”
In all, 15 tornadoes were counted in that spate of storms, among them a violent EF4 tornado that hit Harrison Twp. after displacing hundreds of residents and businesses in Trotwood and Brookville.