Dayton worried more city buildings sustained tornado damage

The city of Dayton wants to find out if the Memorial Day tornadoes caused more damage to its facilities than meets the eye and will spend nearly $200,000 to find out.

Eight city of Dayton facilities likely were damaged by the Memorial Day tornadoes, officials said.

Other municipalities that have been hit by natural disasters have learned of critical damage to their buildings six months or longer after the weather events, meaning the expenses were no longer eligible for federal reimbursement, said Diane Shannon, Dayton’s director of procurement, management and budget.

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The city wants to avoid that possibility and has hired a company to inspect about 40 buildings and properties to try to ensure all losses are submitted on time to its insurance company and FEMA.

“We’re taking this as a proactive step to evaluate these facilities to make certain that there is no structural damage,” Shannon said.

The city of Dayton already has identified eight facilities that were affected by the Memorial Day tornadoes.

The Ottawa Water Treatment Plant sustained damage to its electrical, mechanical and plumbing infrastructure. The Lucille Pump Station’s roof was damaged.

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The storm also harmed the police department’s East Patrol Operations Division building on East Helena Street; a greenhouse and storage facility on Siebenthaler Avenue; the Ridgecrest Park shelter; the Lime Kiln building; Fire Station 8 and the fire garage on Stanley Avenue.

The city has hired WJE to take a close look at these facilities and many others that were in the pathway of the storm to determine their structural integrity, Shannon said. Dayton City Commissioners this month approved a $188,760 contract with WJE.

“The reason that we are putting this contract in place is because we have city facilities that we need to have analyzed or assess in regards to impact from the tornado,” said Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein.

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WJE will assess the condition of the city’s treatment plant buildings, a water tower, garages, a pump house, fire training center facilities, maintenance buildings at Kittyhawk Golf Course, a shelter at Jim Nichols tennis courts and the pavilion, dugouts, press box and shelters at Howell Field and Triangle Park.

The city will apply for reimbursement for any structural damage through its insurance carrier, Shannon said.

The city’s insurance deductible is eligible for reimbursement by FEMA up to 75 percent, city staff said.

Initially, the tornadoes were projected to cost the city of Dayton about $6 million in additional expenses, Shannon said, with about $4 million expected to come from the city’s general fund and $2 million from the water fund.

But Dayton’s public works department did some clean-up work in house that the city originally thought would have to be contracted out, which means the hit to the general fund will be about $3.4 million, Shannon said.

There are other expenses, however, including a $1 million contract with Tree Care Inc. to remove, grind down and permanently dispose of trees, stumps and other green waste. The city hopes FEMA will reimburse as much as three-fourths of these costs.

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