The Moore American

October 2, 2013

Booksource donates more than 5,000 books to Briarwood and Plaza Towers Elementaries

By Michaela Marx Wheatley
The Moore American

MOORE — Moore is rebuilding, and the city has the numbers to prove it.

Four months after the devastating May 20 tornado, the city of Moore has issued a record number of building permits.

Shane Speegle, development services manager for the city of Moore, said his department issued 78 building permits in the last month, compared to 24 this time last year. Of those, 54 permits relate to rebuilding projects and 24 are new construction.

The pace of projects under way has picked up in recent weeks, Speegle said.

“The permits are on a good increase for storm rebuilds. We have a total of 218 storm rebuilds since May 20. Remodel permits since the tornado is at 377, and we only did 23 for the 2012 year,” he said. “Tornado rebuilds are about twice what normal new construction is doing right now — 218 storm to 98 normal.”

It’s only a start. According to Federal Emergency Management Agency numbers, an estimated 1,300 homes were destroyed in the storm.

Some areas are particularly busy and neighbors watch new structures go up on a daily basis.

“In the Plaza Towers area and the Kings Manor addition behind the Warren Theatre, but all areas have a lot of rebuilding going on,” Speegle said.

The city wrapped up debris pick-up in August, and a general sense of moving forward has settled into the neighborhoods.

As people are rebuilding, they rebuild with the next storm season in mind. Moore residents are building storm shelters. Speegle said the city has issued 896 permits for storm shelters so far, compared to 200 a year usually — a nearly 350 percent increase.

However, the increase in activity will not necessarily help the city’s revenue. Regular building permits are usually $1,250. Currently, rebuilding permits are $4.50.

“Yes, we are not charging for building permits, but we still have to charge the state’s fee of $4.50 per permit. This applies only to homes and business that were damaged by the tornado,” Speegle said.

Steve Eddy, Moore city manager, said the city is moving forward.

“Our recovery efforts have been strong and we are excited about what the future holds,” he said. “I am humbled every day to see the caring and resilient nature of our citizens.”