Committee on Disaster Recovery Hears Testimony
The State House of Representatives' Committee on Disaster Recovery held a hearing at the City of Maryland Heights Government Center.
Leaders from across St. Louis came to Maryland Heights Friday afternoon to testify before the Missouri House of Representative’s Interim Committee on Disaster Recovery. Mayors, county officials and state senators were just a handful among those who shared their experiences with the Good Friday storms and other disasters.
This was the fourth hearing the committee held since June 22. The committee held other hearings in Sedalia, Joplin and Sikeston.
Maryland Heights Mayor Mike Moeller told the committee that city building and code enforcement officials tagged 800 homes affected by the storm. The City of Maryland Heights has issued 330 permits for property repairs since the storm, Moeller said.
St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman told the committee he would like to see a plan for intergovernmental and interdepartmental cooperation in place for future disasters. He said many departments cooperated and worked together during the Good Friday storms, but it wasn’t something officials had considered before.
Zimmerman also said individual data collection needs to change. The system currently has property owners collecting assessment information via mail, with the right to contest it. He suggested a proactive system, where the county comes to the property owner.
State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal urged the committee not to forget about urban areas affected by the storm, such as Ferguson and Berkley.
“There are families in my Senate district that don’t have homes,” she told the committee.
Mayor James Knowles of Ferguson told the committee about 100-year-old oak trees pushed over by the Good Friday storms. He said workers needed heavy equipment to clear those trees, and getting the equipment to cleanup sites damaged city streets.