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story.lead_photo.caption The John G. Christy Municipal Building, also known as City Hall, is located in Jefferson City at 320 E. McCarty St.

The six Jefferson City Council members attending a special meeting Thursday suspended their rules so they could pass two ordinances the same day they were introduced.

One bill reduces the building permit fee to $25 for rebuilding tornado-damaged properties.

The other allows residents of those properties to live, temporarily, in recreational vehicles or campers while their main, damaged home is being repaired or rebuilt.

There was no council discussion of the proposals, and both bills passed on 6-0 votes.

Sonny Sanders of the city's Planning and Code Enforcement Department told the council the first bill "would permit us, until Sept. 1 of this year, to issue building permits for one- and two-family residential dwellings. It would help us rebuild the community."

Donna Deetz of the Historic City of Jefferson told the Council that HCJ's board of directors already has voted to "put the money up for all of the residential permits for buildings up to — I think we figured out at about 250 of them (would be) about $6,200."

She said HCJ officials still need to make arrangements with the city officials on how to get the fee payments credited, so the affected property owners won't have to pay the fee and then seek a reimbursement.

Sanders said the second bill would allow the use of a temporary trailer or vehicle for 180 days or until their construction is complete. It also allows permission for another 180 days if they're making good progress.

Most of Thursday afternoon's special meeting provided city and county officials with updated reports on conditions in the area following last week's tornado, as well as the ongoing flooding along the Missouri River and some of its tributaries.

Tornado update

Officials calculate the tornado entered Cole County about 11:20 p.m. May 22, impacting a total of around 40 square miles throughout the county — including two sections of 1.5 square miles, each that were hit inside Jefferson City.

By 2 a.m. — roughly two hours after the storm hit — Jefferson City Fire and Police departments were coordinating street closures to keep people from being hurt or from interfering with the clean-up procedures.

A Missouri Department of Transportation representative said it was amazing to see so many different agencies work together without any "turf wars" or disputes about what cleanup was needed.

Cole County Presiding Commissioner Sam Bushman noted, while there have been many reports and personal stories from inside Jefferson City, "We had over 600 structures (in the county) impacted by the tornado," including a trailer park on Heritage Highway that was "wiped off the face of the earth."

County Public Works Director Larry Benz said they tagged only buildings that had been inhabited and didn't mark outbuildings — like barns and storage sheds — for their structural soundness or damage.

Deb Hendricks of the Missouri Public Safety Department said the United Way's volunteer sign-up center at the Capital Mall had worked well, but now, the response teams are going to use the phone number 211 to handle requests for assistance and people offering to assist with cleanup efforts.

"Several national groups did quite a lot of work for us" during the first days after the storm, Hendrix said. "A multi-agency warehouse that will serve as a distribution point" has been established at the Capital West Church Events Center, at 1315 Fairgrounds Road.

Catholic Charities has agreed to do long-term case-management including housing needs in the coming weeks, Hendricks said.

Benz said debris picked up along county roads was being burned each day at "a burn site in the Eugene area."

MoDOT is taking debris from along state-owned routes to their maintenance facility near the Big Horn Drive exit on U.S. 50-West, and burning it.

But Jefferson City Fire Chief Matt Schofield said city officials aren't considering — at least for now — a change in the city ordinance that prohibits open burning this time of the year.

"The location out at Algoa is the (city's debris) haul site," he told the News Tribune. "In the past, we have looked at those areas as a collection point for a one-time burn.

"But that is something we're going to look at in the future."

City Public Works Director Matt Morasch reported "well over 2,000 dump truck loads" of debris — mostly cut-up trees — have been hauled to the Algoa site.

Cole County's Health Department is offering tetanus shots for anyone injured by the storm or exposed to flood waters.

Flooding update

MoDOT said, at present river levels and forecasts, the U.S. 50/63 Expressway in Cole County and U.S. 54/63 in Callaway County should remain dry and usable.

Cole County had to close another road — Lisletown Road in eastern Cole County, between the Expressway and the Missouri River — Thursday because of high water.

Benz reported: "We have six roads closed by flooding, mostly in the Cole Junction and Osage City areas."

Morasch said although the airport is closed by flooding, the city's wastewater treatment plant and pumping station "are still working."

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