BEAVERCREEK, Ohio (WDTN) – Nearly one month after the Memorial Day tornado outbreak, piles of debris still line some streets in Beavercreek.
According to city officials, crews are working to clear yard waste, but the city does not have the money to remove construction debris.
Tim Lairson, who lives in Beavercreek, told 2 NEWS he owns a company that was able to help him haul away his debris, but some of his neighbors still have piles at the curb.
“The city’s already gone through, picked up all the trees, the stumps, the bushes,” he said. “They’re paying, I know, thousands of dollars a day to actually pick that up.”
Lairson said that’s why he doesn’t have a problem taking care of his own construction debris.
His wife Amy, on the other hand, said she believes the city should step in.
“I feel that there’s a lot of homeowners that may not have the funds or the means,” she said.
City Manager Pete Landrum told 2 NEWS that Beavercreek expects to spend a total of more than $2 million to remove and dispose of tree and brush debris, and the city doesn’t have the money to also pick up all of the construction debris.
The city has already spent about $800,000 to $900,000, Landrum said, and those costs would have been higher if crews from other jurisdictions had not helped with yard waste removal.
Landrum points out that Beavercreek does not have a city income tax, and it cannot pull from funds for other uses, which are supported by levies.
“You come to Beavercreek and people say, ‘Well, who’s your trash hauler?'” Landrum said. “Well that’s up to you. We don’t have a centralized trash hauler. ‘Where’s leaf pickup?’ Sorry, we don’t have staff to do leaf pickup.”
The city has canceled stormwater projects and reduced its paving to compensate for the money already spent on tornado cleanup, Landrum said.
Landrum encourages residents to contact their insurance companies to see if construction debris removal will be covered.
There are no demolition fees to the city, Landrum said, and fees for zoning and permits have been waived in the affected areas.
The city will monitor the debris cleanup and then figure out how to help uninsured or under-insured residents, Landrum added.
“We’ll see what’s left and see what funding is available for us that we’ll be able to help out if needed,” he said.
The city has applied for FEMA assistance to get the costs for yard debris removal covered, but it will likely be a few months before the city receives an answer, Landrum said.
Construction debris may also be dropped off for a fee at the Xenia Demolition Landfill or the Montgomery County Transfer Facility in Moraine, Landrum said.