City first in state to adopt tornado recovery plan
by Jennifer Cohron
Dec 29, 2011 | 1729 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The baseball fields at the old park are among the rebuilding projects listed in the long-term recovery plan adopted by the city council Tuesday night. Photo by: Jennifer Cohron
The baseball fields at the old park are among the rebuilding projects listed in the long-term recovery plan adopted by the city council Tuesday night. Photo by: Jennifer Cohron
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CORDOVA — Cordova is the first tornado-stricken community in the state to have a formal plan for recovering from April 27.

Council members voted Tuesday night to adopt the 80-page document that was introduced at the last meeting.

The plan details numerous high-priority rebuilding projects as well as others that have been deemed to be in the community interest, such as realigning Main Street and constructing a “park in the heart” of downtown.

It was developed over several months based on input from citizens and with assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA).

State disaster recovery coordinator Rocky Milliman confirmed Wednesday that nine communities received their individualized plans earlier this month and Cordova is the first to his knowledge that has adopted one.

“Mayor Scott and the Cordova Long Term Recovery Committee are really forward thinking and they are blazing the trail with regard to recovery plans,” he said.

Milliman added that the plan should be viewed as a road map and can be changed to suit the city’s ever-changing needs.

Scott described the document Tuesday night as “a starting point” that opens doors to numerous funding sources.

The booklet comes with a compact disc that offers information about more than 900 potential partners.

One part of the plan calls for the city to hire a manager to oversee long-term recovery efforts.

Milliman said that position will be filled sometime in the new year by a disaster assistance employee (DAE) whose salary will be funded by FEMA.

“There will be some gap that each community will need assistance with and we’re here to help them fill that gap with whatever resources are necessary,” Milliman said.

Council member Tina Woods encouraged local citizens to get involved with turning the road map into a reality as well.

“People don’t realize that they can become a project champion. If somebody wants to take up a certain project and try to push it forward, then they can go ahead and get involved,” Woods said.