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Local

Coal City tornado victims set to receive aid starting in October

The Long Term Recovery Committee has determine how and when funds will be distributed

Volunteers help clean up debris June 26 in Coal City after the tornado. The Long Term Recovery Committee in charge of distribution from the relief fund for victims of the tornado says it will start distributing money in October.
Volunteers help clean up debris June 26 in Coal City after the tornado. The Long Term Recovery Committee in charge of distribution from the relief fund for victims of the tornado says it will start distributing money in October.

COAL CITY – The Long Term Recovery Committee in charge of the distribution from the relief fund for victims of the June 22 EF3 tornado said it will begin distributing money in October to affected residents.

To date, there is $299,235.54 in the fund managed by the Community Foundation of Grundy County. About $20,000 of that was in place before the tornado and will remain in the fund in the event of another disaster.

Operation St. Nick and Community Foundation of Grundy County each donated $10,000 to the fund after the Diamond tornado.

“Everyone wants to know where the money is,” Devan Gagliardo, program director with the foundation, said at Monday night’s Coal City Village Board meeting. “We hope the first disbursement of funds will be by mid-October.”’

Gagliardo said Tuesday the committee met again Tuesday morning and decided how to distribute the funds.

“A majority of the funds will be released between mid-October to the beginning of November, to those who are registered,” she said. “Some funds will be set aside and will be used next spring on an as-needed basis for those still needing assistance.”

Families must be registered by Oct. 2 with their case management team to be eligible for the funds.

Gagliardo said nearly 400 people are registered, and the group has decided those who have not registered either do not need or want the assistance.

More than 800 properties were damaged by the tornado.

She told the Village Board about the six subcommittees created within the Long Term Recovery Committee: crisis counseling, volunteer coordination, construction coordination, community assessment, case management and financial aspects of recovery.

She said the committee has received feedback from the construction coordinator that a number of residents are concerned with stump removal not being covered by insurance.

She said the coordinator is hoping to team up with the
volunteer coordinator and find how they can get the resources to help those who need stumps removed.

“It’s not like everyone has a stump grinder in their garage,” she said.

Thanks to the efforts from the communities and the aid provision partners who participated in programs like the Multi-Agency Resource Center, more than $140,000 already has been distributed by agencies to help fill short-term needs.

It is through this aid – which is separate from the foundation’s assistance fund – that agencies like the Tzu Chi Foundation could donate Visa gift cards, Knights of Columbus could provide Wal-Mart gift cards and The Salvation Army and Catholic Charities could provide victims with cash, rent assistance and car repairs, Gagliardo said.

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KNOW MORE

Those affected by the June tornado who wish to register for case management and receive resources should:

• If the first letter of your last name begins with A-D, call 815-942-6389 (We Care of Grundy County)

• If the first letter of your last name begins with E-R, call 309-357-9391 (Salvation Army).

• If the first letter of your last name begins with S-Z, call 815-774-4663, ext. 3165 (Catholic Charities).

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