Tornado Clean-Up And Overtime Costs in for City of Prattville

Tornado Blows Estimated $1.5 Million Dollar Hole In Prattville City Budget
Tornado Blows Estimated $1.5 Million Dollar Hole In Prattville City Budget

"It's $80,000 and those are hard dollars," said Mayor Jim Byard.

And hard to swallow after businesses like Wal-Mart, K-mart and many of the other smaller stores shut down after the February 17 tornado.

It was a storm that required a lot of manpower to clean up. That cost the city a bundle as well.

"In the $250,000 range. That's overtime and regular time," said Byard.

In all the twister blew a hole in the city budget to the tune of $1.5 million.

"The Oak Hill Cemetery and Stanley-Jensen Stadium improvements have been put on hold immediately," Byard said. Even with the costly clean-up, the mayor says no city services will be cut nor will there be any layoffs.

There is an upside to all this. Byard says if you had to have a tornado, this was a good time because cities across Alabama typically collect business licenses during this time of year. Prattville collected an additional $16,000 in business license fees last week compared to the same week one year ago.

In the meantime there are signs that commerce is picking up in east Prattville. Wal-Mart opened today for the first time since the tornado struck 10 days ago.

It's an entirely different story for K-Mart. Of all the stores, it received the most damage. Closed until further notice.

"I've talked with the president of  K-Mart and he tells me they are interested in staying in Prattville. They haven't decided if they'll rebuild or renovate. I used to work there in high school and college," said Mayor Byard.

In the end though city officials and residents are far more grateful about the numbers that aren't being reported; no funerals.

50 people reported some type of injury but most of those injuries were minor.