Rebuilding the town was the main topic on the agenda for the Holton Town Board meeting held April 12 at the Holton Community Center following the devastation left behind by the March 2 tornado.
The town park will need to be rebuilt. Estimates for needed repairs and rebuilding have been submitted to the insurance company and FEMA. It was noted in the event of an additional natural disaster, FEMA will pay up to 75% of the cost to have the park updated to make it safer.
According to Bob Curl, town marshal, the park's new security system has to be replaced and he had estimates he presented.
The park's playground equipment has been damaged and will need to be checked before anyone can use it. Linda Forester, from Park Creations, agreed to officially check the equipment for damage and safety with no charge to the town.
The insurance adjustors have been to the park and marked the trees that have to be cut down or trimmed back. Board member Paul Hughes will be taking care of disposing of these trees within the next couple of weeks.
Of the 24 picnic tables at the park, only 16 remain after the tornado and two are damaged. Board member Angi Farrell will get an estimate from the man who originally built the tables and see what it will cost to replace them.
According to the town's clerk-treasurer, Gretchen Moore, the cooking grills will need to be replaced as well.
While the town of Holton received three bids for removal of the debris pile at the old Holton school, unanimous approval was given to award the contract to Mozingo Excavating at the cost of $14,300. Forty-yard dumpsters from Best Way will help dispose of the debris pile with a charge of $425 per dumpster adding an additional charge of $28.00 per load if that load happens to be overweight.
According to Moore, there have already been 14 loads of garbage carried away in dumpsters from Best Way with the town incurring the cost of $5,300.
It was mentioned at the meeting that the school was slated to be demolished on April 16 and it was.
Moore reported that street signs are missing due to the tornado and can be replaced at the cost of $385.
Ripley County Emergency Management Director Patrick Rose was at the meeting and noted that Holton is priority with FEMA to have an actual storm shelter built there. This could be funded at either 75% or 100% by FEMA.