An excavator at work at the green debris collection site on the 2600 block of Wagoner Ford Road in Dayton. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

Tornado costs and green debris piling up in Dayton

Dayton’s elected leaders recently approved a $1 million contract with Tree Care Inc. to remove, grind down and permanently dispose of trees, stumps and other green waste related to the devastating Memorial Day tornadoes.

MORE: Remaining tornado tree debris too much for many owners, aid groups

That’s on top of the $6 million the city’s already spent on the tornado response, said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.

But the city hopes to recoup much of its storm-related expenses.

“All costs associated with this contract will be submitted under the July 17, 2019, FEMA declaration for reimbursement,” said Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein.

MORE: Cities hauling ‘mind-boggling’ amount of tornado debris

Trees, limbs, vegetation and woody remains removed from the right-of-way in Old North Dayton and other storm-impacted Dayton neighborhoods were dumped and stored at two temporary sites in the city.

One is a compost site at 2670 Wagoner Ford Road, and the other is the former Meijer site at 2744 Harshman Road.

Tree Care Inc., based in Dayton, was selected through the FEMA-required procurement process. Tree Care does this kind of work for the federal agency across the nation, said Whaley.

“We’re grateful for having that sort of expertise in the city,” she said.

MORE: Montgomery County tornadoes left more than 600 homes unlivable

The city’s expenses under the Tree Care contract will be submitted for reimbursement from FEMA, which repays as much as 75 percent of eligible costs, said Dickstein.

Public works removed and stored about 90,000 cubic yards of trees, vegetation and woody debris at the pair of temporary sites.

More than 1,000 truckloads of debris were removed from affected Dayton neighborhoods in roughly the first week after the tornado, city officials. There was so much debris collected that the city temporarily closed the green landfill on Wagner Ford Road, officials said.

A preliminary damage estimate for a four-county area (Montgomery, Greene, Mercer and Columbiana) was $18.1 million, with about two-thirds of the estimated costs tied to debris removal, this newspaper reported in July.

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