When the city was turned down for federal flood relief dollars, organizations such as the United Way began searching for donations. Thursday, they got a sizable one from the city’s largest employer, Chrysler. United Way director Abbie Smith says the cash can’t replace the belongings of the hundreds of homeowners affected, but it can help bring back some of what they’ve lost.
“If the last thing that a family needs to get them back into their home is a water heater, this would pay for a water heater,” Smith says. “Mold mitigation, that’s what we’ll do. A furnace, that’s what we’ll do.”
Many cities with an operating surplus call that cash a “rainy day fund.” Kokomo’s, it turns out, might be the most aptly-named reserve in the state. Mayor Greg Goodnight says he’s not opposed to dipping into it to help those who were flooded out of their homes, but he’d like to find matching grants to apply for to make any city investment last longer.
“We’re researching if there are other resources available for flood mitigation long-term, those things. And if we have to use some resources to match — something like that – obviously we’re willing to do that,” Goodnight says.
Smith says other businesses have added money to the pot as well, noting Duke Energy contributed $10,000 to the effort and local restaurants have donated more than $11,000 in food to the victims.