Storm damage prompts needed renovations
by Daniel Gaddy
Jul 07, 2011 | 2461 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Lona Courington, director of the Walker County Salvation Army, looks over the damage to the building in downtown Jasper on Wednesday. Thanks to a grant from the Walker Area Community Foundation and insurance money from the storm damage that occurred on Monday and April 27, the local agency will make significant renovations to the store and warehouse. Photo by: Daniel Gaddy
Lona Courington, director of the Walker County Salvation Army, looks over the damage to the building in downtown Jasper on Wednesday. Thanks to a grant from the Walker Area Community Foundation and insurance money from the storm damage that occurred on Monday and April 27, the local agency will make significant renovations to the store and warehouse. Photo by: Daniel Gaddy
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The director of the local Salvation Army says another bout of storm damage, which decimated the agency’s food pantry, will also result in major and long-overdue renovations to the downtown Jasper location.

“Everything is going to be all spruced up,” said Lona Courington, director of the Walker County Salvation Army.

The agency’s roof, which received significant damage from the April 27 severe weather, was hit again by winds on Monday.

The recent damaged caused leaks in the already-aging roof and several thousand dollars worth of boxed foods were spoiled, Courington said.

Though the leaks and damage will disrupt the Salvation Army’s food pantry program, Courington said several churches that normally partner with the organization will be providing the service to residents in need.

Courington estimated that Salvation Army officials will have the food pantry back in operation within two weeks. No other services will be affected, she said.

“We’re making sure our clients are served,” she said.

Because of the storm damage, however, the local Salvation Army received a grant from the Walker Area Community Foundation. Along with insurance reimbursement for the roof damage, Courington said the agency will have the money to make much-needed improvements to the store located on the corner of 20th Street and Corona Avenue.

Courington said the goals for the renovations include air-conditioning in the warehouse used to store food, and larger offices used to interview potential clients. She also said the improvements will create a designated area for the food pantry program. Up until the recent storm damage, Salvation Army workers had to hand out the groceries through a window in the thrift store, she said.

“When we open again, our pantry will be better than ever,” she said.

Courington said the local Salvation Army was also approved for a grant from Alabama Power that will pay for renovations to make the building more energy efficient. She said improvements could mean significant savings for the agency, which currently spends around $1,700 a month for power.

For more information about the Salvation Army of Walker County, call 205-221-7737.