In a specially called meeting Monday morning, the Denison City Council approved up to $100,000 in funding towards the recovery effort following a fire that affected a large part of the 300 block of the city’s history Main Street last week.
Out of the meeting, several other measures to help the city recover were taken.
In addition to the funds the City Council also authorized extending the local disaster emergency declaration Mayor Janet Gott issued last Thursday. The declaration was issued in order to provide an easier way for the city funds to be allocated towards the recovery effort.
Gott signed the declaration Thursday afternoon. Denison City Manager Jud Rex said the state law allows it to remain in effect for seven days following issuance. He asked the council to approve an indefinite extension that would be reviewed by the council at a later date.
“Obviously we’re not dealing with a disaster that is wide spread throughout the community that this typically applies to,” Rex said. “I want to run through why we did this. First, the fire impacted multiple properties, including public sidewalks, public rights-of-way and public alleys. The fire impacted public utilities, water, sewer, gas and electric.”
The clean up and recovery will take resources away from multiple city departments which were mobilized the day of the fire.
The Council also approved an ordinance that would grant the city administrator the power to waive a number of fees associated with the clean up ranging from permits for dumpsters as well as any additional fees the city administrator deems necessary.
“We are wanting to set ourselves up for success for a great recovery and rebuilding effort,” Rex said. “This is our first take at that. At this point there may be other opportunities that come up we can include into this, what we are calling the Denison Forward initiative as outlined in this resolution. We will circle back if there are other opportunities identified to help the community recover from this.”
Denison Finance Director Renee’ Waggoner said using the funds for the recovery effort was in the best interest of the citizens of Denison.
“Several buildings were affected by the fire, smoke and water damage,” Waggoner said. “The devastation made its way onto the streets, sidewalks and alleyways of our downtown. A declaration of a local state of disaster was signed on Oct. 10 to help plan for clean up and recover which began the same day.”
Do you support the city’s decision to use general funds to assist in the clean up of the disaster? Let Richard A. Todd know by sending email to email@example.com. He can also be reached on Facebook and Twitter @RichardAToddHD.