A pickup truck is smashed between two homes on Neff Road in Harrison Twp. Two weeks have passed since a tornado ripped through the area, causing significant damage to homes and businesses. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Photo: Ty Greenlees
Photo: Ty Greenlees

County temporarily waives inspection fees for tornado damage

Montgomery County commissioners formally approved waiving fees for gas and electric inspections for properties damaged by tornadoes last month.

Properties that were damaged still will have to be inspected to ensure safety, but fees for the permits will be waived until July 31. Fees are normally $150.

“For some of the homes that are still without power, and they have to hire an electrician to get the connection back, this is so big. We’ve heard a lot of ‘thank yous’ already for this,” commissioner Debbie Lieberman said.

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The move by commissioners comes as Gov. Mike DeWine requested assistance from FEMA in 10 counties.

County administrator Michael Colbert says that the county will continue to help.

“We continue to try to find ways, as people are moving and trying to get their lives back, on how they can reconnect their electricity and get their gas reconnected,” Colbert said.

DeWine’s 30-page report to FEMA reads, “There is widespread devastation throughout the impacted counties. Homes, entire apartment complexes, and businesses have been destroyed.”

Assistant County Administrator Tom Kelley notes that residents are still residing in damaged homes.

“We have people in many cases staying in properties that may be not meeting standards and meeting code,” said Kelley. “Needs will change, so we want to make sure that we are aligning and coordinating and keeping the housing discussion in place so that we can make sure we are identifying those needs.”

If damage is found in the inspection, the company will notify the tenant, repair the damage, and contact the Montgomery County Building Regulations Department.

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Lieberman noted that the recovery efforts are just beginning.

“The county is not going anywhere,” Lieberman said. “We’re still going to be here for every need.”

Any questions concerning permits for safe utility reconnection should be directed to the Montgomery County Building Regulations Department at www.selectmcohio.com/mcohio/building or (937) 225-4622.

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