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Volunteer Organization sets Deadline of January 31 to Sign up for Demolition Assistance
As the demolition of tornado-damaged structures and foundations by the Voluntary Organization Demolition Team (VODT) is nearing completion, AmeriCorps announces a deadline of January 31st for homeowners to sign up for demolition assistance.

AmeriCorps still has skilled volunteers here in Joplin assisting property owners with the demolition of tornado-damaged structures that cannot or should not be rebuilt, as well as the removal of any concrete remains such as foundations, footings, basements, crawl spaces, and slabs. The volunteers are also helping homeowners with tree and stump removal.

With the commitment of the volunteer agency to remove all the structures and foundations requested by property owners, a deadline of January 31st is being set by the organization for homeowners to sign up for any demolition assistance needed. AmeriCorps asks that you call the Volunteer Reception Center at 417-625-3558 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week prior to signing up at their location at 520 School Avenue in Joplin.

“This deadline is only for property owners to sign up for demolition help,” said AmeriCorps representative Chad Angell. “The demolition of the structures and foundations will not be completed by this date. We just need to hear from the community so we know how many property owners may still need our assistance.”

The volunteers still have approximately 250 structures and foundations to be removed. If you are already on the list, you don’t need to call or stop by their location. The skilled volunteers are progressing with the mobilization of their equipment through the City. This sign-up deadline will allow the volunteers to wrap up the demolition effort sometime in February, weather permitting.

“The volunteer effort has played a key role in our recovery effort, but the skilled volunteers will soon be shifting gears to focus more on rebuilding,” said Joplin City Manager Mark Rohr. “If you are a resident or property owner who still needs help removing a structure or foundation, I encourage you to sign up for the free assistance from the volunteers prior to this deadline.”

In the City’s review of the disaster area, there are some remaining properties with structures that need demolished or concrete remains that need to be removed, if the foundation is not going to be used for rebuilding. In some cases, temporary repairs, such as boarded up windows and tarps on damaged roofs, have been made to other structures. Property owners who have made temporary repairs will need to make permanent repairs as soon as possible, in order to avoid further action by the City.

The City has begun the dangerous structure declaration process and expects to begin demolishing structures in groupings of approximately 20 by early February. If the City removes the structure or foundation, there will be a charge to the property owner for the actual cost of the demolition and removal.

Property owners may still push tornado-related debris to the curb for pickup by the City contractor. Even though curbside pickup continues, a deadline for curbside pickup by the contractor will soon be established by the City. Reconstruction or new construction materials are not eligible for pickup at the curb by the City contractor and must be hauled away by the property owner or contractor.

If you have questions, please contact the Tornado Assistance Information Line (TAIL) at 417-627-2900.