Naperville Tornado Relief asks council for $500K in clean-up funds

Naperville Tornado Relief Partners with M.P. Foundation-Glass from Naperville Tornado
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Naperville Tornado Relief is asking the city for up to $500,000 to help with the remaining funding needed for tornado clean-up efforts.

Additional funds for tornado clean-up

Though most of the larger debris has been cleared since the EF-3 tornado hit the Naperville area in June 2021, small metal and glass particles remain in the soil within yards. Those rise to the surface when it rains, causing a hazard. Insurance does not cover the cost of clean-up of such debris.

At Tuesday night’s city council meeting, Naperville Tornado Relief co-founder Kristy Kennedy said during public comment that the group has three priorities for the community recovery initiative: yard replacement, landscape renovation, and beautification that will cover the area. But the main goal is removing the debris left in the dirt by the tornado. 

“It’s expensive work that requires removing the top inches of grass and contaminated soil, disposing of it responsibly, and replacing that with clean soil and grading it,” said Kennedy.

Kennedy said the average cost to replace a lawn is $17,000. She also mentioned that city-owned parkways need repairs.  

“They’re in particularly bad shape since debris was carried there for removal in the aftermath of the tornado,” said Kennedy.

Past funding for tornado relief

The group recently received a $1 million grant from the state to help in the efforts. Kennedy says that grant will help to transform the community after the damage.

“Children will be able to safely play, and pets will be able to go out safely,” said Kennedy. “People will be able to host backyard gatherings with friends and family.”

But more is needed to fully cover the work needed at the roughly 70 homes that were affected.

Council’s response

Councilman Benny White, serving as mayor pro tem at last night’s council meeting, suggested that the staff might look into using part of the $13.3 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for the cause.

“With $13.3 million sitting there, I think it’s a possibility we might be able to do something to help out that particular neighborhood,” said White.

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