In a May 5 Town Hall, survivors of the West explosion were told that 100 tons of debris was taken away last weekend by 600 volunteers putting in a combined 4,000 hours.
Mayor Tommy Muska added the city council has approved the use of trailers as temporary housing for one year, until May 2014. Muska says West “is not turning into a trailer park.”
Muska was among many people who stressed that residents take all assistance available from FEMA. “Don’t be shy and don’t let pride get in the way here. If I can sign up with them you can too. Promise me that because this is not the time to be proud.”
Survivors also heard from those still involved in recovery efforts from wildfires in Bastrop County nearly two years ago.
Bastrop resident, Paige Webb, gave advice intended to help West residents clear hurdles learned the hard way in Bastrop. Among them, keep receipts for everything, “including Taco Bell”. She said her Bastrop neighborhood qualified for a HUD grant to build 121 houses. But only 17 would be built because of a lack of receipts and mortgages that were paid off instead of using settlement checks to rebuild.Stay strong, West. Keep on keeping on. It gets better.
Muska says the city council is working with the Waco Foundation and Catholic charities to develop a formula to best distribute money coming from private and individual donations.