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City paid for storm costs

February 5, 2013

Wapakoneta Safety-Service Director Bill Rains

The city received three payments recently — all dealing with reimbursements for clean-up costs for the June 29 wind storm that caused millions of dollars in damage.

While the money is welcomed, city administrators say the money puts only a dent into the total amount spent on cleaning up the streets, fixing electrical lines and grinding up limbs and debris at the Wapakoneta Compost Facility.

Wapakoneta Safety-Service Director Bill Rains told Wapakoneta City Council members during Monday’s meeting the city received $67,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to pay for materials and wages to fix the city’s electrical system damaged by winds which reached 80 to 90 mph on June 29.

The city also received $25,000 from the state to collect limbs and debris and to operate the Wapakoneta Compost facility to grind up debris. The city facility serves as the composting facility for the county.

The city grinded an additional 1,500 cubic yards of yard waste and debris. He noted they typically spend $13,000 to operate the facility and they spent more than $22,000 this year to operate the facility, so they are seeking reimbursement on $9,000.

The state grant provides a reimbursement at a rate 75 percent for the work done at the composting facility.

The city also received a $10,500 insurance check for two dugouts at baseball diamonds at Veterans Memorial Park. The dugouts were destroyed by the wind.

“We all know the city has to have a balanced budget and those funds certainly help, but they do not make them whole and will not cover the expenses that we had which were created by the storm,” Mayor Rodney Metz said after the meeting. “The money from the state covers only the extra grinding we had to do because of the storm. It does not cover the city having to clean up the streets, collect all the debris and clean up city property, such as the parks. There are other expenses we had that is not included.”

Rains estimated the city spent more than $80,000 in the weeks after the wind storm on electrical work. Only costs incurred the first four days qualified for aid.

The storm knocked out  a 69,000-kilovolt electric line which provided power to parts of the city, mostly in the Wapakoneta Industrial Park along Industrial Drive including the Wapakoneta Daily News. Along with damaging the two dugouts at Veterans Memorial Park, it damaged electrical poles and lighting fixtures at the park.

At Wapakoneta High School, the two varsity baseball dugouts were destroyed and fencing at the baseball and softball diamonds damaged.

Throughout the city, electric power poles were snapped and hundreds of trees felled on public and private property. Roofs and structures sustained damage from blowing debris and trees.

Auglaize County EMA Director Troy Anderson said he recorded 40 minor incidents, 80 affected incidents associated with the storm. On the government side, Anderson said the county met its threshold — which was $155,000 per capita for uninsured losses. The county’s figured totaled more than $350,000 per capita.

Auglaize County, along with St. Marys, Wapakoneta, New Bremen, Waynesfield, Duchouquet Township and Salem Township, are included in EMA’s assistance report. Midwest Electric and DP&L also were included based upon utility damage.

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