City crews worked to help neighboring communities in the days after the record tornado outbreak on Memorial Day, and Centerville leaders now have approved a resolution to be reimbursed, if federal aid is available.
“We did it out of the goodness of our hearts, but at the same time if reimbursement is on the way from the FEMA group, then we want to be prepared to be able to collect that reimbursement should that be available to us,” Centerville City Manager Wayne Davis explained to city council members.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced last week that Ohio has received federal assistance for individuals in 10 counties impacted by tornadoes, severe storms, straight-line winds, flooding, and landslides in May.
Davis said a number of city staff members have participated in the efforts to help communities affected by the Memorial Day tornadoes. The legislation approved allows the city, thorough mutual aid agreements, to have the opportunity to collect Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding.
“This is giving us the opportunity should reimbursements come down to these communities through FEMA that we would be able to be reimbursed for the services that we’ve offered or extended to cities of Brookville, Dayton, Harrison Twp. as well as Clayton and any others should we offer any further assistance,” Davis said.
Mayor Brooks Compton said he’s aware that the city has invested hundreds of hours in the weeks following the devastating tornadoes.
Six Centerville Public Works employees have spent all their work time assisting in disaster relief efforts.
Larry Sewell, Tom Nugent, Chris Sharp, Dan Doherty, Jeff Moody and Geoffrey Reddens have loaded and dropped off more than 215 truckloads of brush and debris.
“We saw the devastating need in the immediate aftermath of the tornadoes, and we answered the call for help from Montgomery County. It’s the right thing to do,” said Public Works Supervisor Marty Tackett. “We are grateful for the hard work and long hours these men are putting in – and through them, the small part the City of Centerville is able to play in helping our neighbors when they need it. They would do the same for us.”
Davis added to council, “We would have done it regardless of whether reimbursement was in the offing. It was the right thing to do. … Nonetheless, if we have an opportunity for reimbursement, it is the smart thing from a stewardship perspective to actually follow through on this.”
Two Centerville companies were among those who reached out to help tornado victims as well.
Costco, located at Cornerstone in Centerville, donated more than 3,000 brats and thousands of pastries. Bill’s Donuts made at least two large deliveries of doughnuts.
In the week following the tornado devastation, Bill’s Donut Shop also delivered 10 trailer loads of supplies to victims in Brookville, Dayton, Harrison Twp., Trotwood and West Milton.
“If the path of the storms had shifted 10 miles to the south, our shop would have been the distribution site instead of the collection site,” owner Lisa Elam Tucker said.
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