|Cloverdale Recovery Fund gets $10,000 boost|
|Wednesday, December 25, 2013 9:00 PM|
BY ANNE COBURN-GRIFFIS
CLOVERDALE — The Cloverdale Recovery Fund received a big boost from KMI Manufacturing, Inc., in Kalida. The major Putnam County employer presented Cloverdale with a check for $10,000 to aid the village in tornado recovery efforts.
On behalf of the Kalida industrial supplier of welding and sub-assembly of automotive structural components, KMI’s Senior Vice President and Plant Manager Rick Esch presented Cloverdale Mayor Judd Spencer with the check last week.
“As a company, our associates are making a contribution. We work hard to support the individuals that support us,” Esch said. “That’s why we are doing this. The important thing is that we are able to get this money into the hands of the individuals who were impacted and who need it. I appreciate what the Putnam County Task Force and the mayor are doing in order to facilitate that.”
“Every day’s a new challenge,” said Spencer. “I just help give direction. Having that good rapport with all the neighbors and residents really helps. Everybody helps each other. It’s almost like we sit at the same supper table at night.”
Since the Nov. 17 tornado, some evening meals, as well as breakfast and lunch, have been community sit-down dinners in the parish hall of St. Barbara’s Catholic Church, the only building the tornado left standing on church grounds.
“The 10 inches of snow actually made things look good; we didn’t see any debris for a few days,” laughed Spencer. “We said, ‘everybody take pictures!’ But right now we have about 80 percent of the debris contained. We’re still moving forward. It’s more on the red tape end right now.”
According to Spencer, there are a total of 14 Cloverdale buildings on the demolition list. Seven of those have already come down, including St. Barbara’s Catholic church and rectory. Insurance questions remain on some still slated for removal.
“There was actually one structure that I thought for sure would be demolished, but they’re saying it can be repaired,” said Spencer about one residential owner. “They gave me the inspiration to move on.”
Following the check presentation, Spencer left to speak with Putnam County Office of Public Safety Director Steve Odenweller. According to Odenweller, the beautifying snow referenced by Spencer also temorarily halted debris removal in Cloverdale.
“The county garage had been doing a lot of the cleanup work there,” he said. “When the snow came, they had to go take care of the roads. Once things settle down, they’ll be back. In the scheme of things, cleanup is moving well.”
In November, Anita Stechschulte, Putnam County Office of Public Safety assistant director advised those who wish to assist in the recovery effort to make monetary donations through the Putnam County Long Term Recovery Task Force (LTRTF), a county-wide group of local and regional agencies and organizations created to provide assistance to those involved in disaster relief. The task force was active during the 2007 flooding in the Blanchard River Watershed, which devastated many homes and businesses. This task force was reactivated after the Nov. 17 storms. According to Stechschulte, no funds were given directly to individuals following the 2007 floods. Residents were required to submit bills and the fund paid the bills for them. This measure was taken to ensure the transparency and accountability of the process.
The LTRTF has established the “November 17th Recovery Fund”. One hundred percent of monies donated to this task force remain local, as the mission of LTRTF is “placing recovery resources in the hands of those who need it most.” Donations may be made at any Putnam County Huntington Bank or Fort Jennings State Bank. For a tax deductible donation, checks may be mailed to the “November 17th Recovery Fund” at P.O. Box 472, Ottawa, OH 45875. Ken Politz, Ottawa, chairs the fund.