Storm Victims Still Waiting for State Aid

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BETHEL SPRINGS, Tenn. – Nearly three months have passed since many in Bethel Springs applied for help through the state after storms ripped through the area in January. But to this day, no one has received money from the Rebuild and Recovery Grant. “What’s really going on?,” said aid applicant Barbara Patterson. “These people are not getting the help that they need, and I don’t think it’s fair. I don’t think it’s right.” The Tennessee Housing Development Agency announced the grant in May. McNairy County Mayor Ronnie Brooks said none of the $175,000 has been given out because of errors in each application. “We’re in the process now of getting someone down here (and) working out a schedule where we can get somebody to come in and meet in Bethel Springs to address all the application issues,” said Brooks. “(This way) we can move forward because that’s my biggest concern.” At this point, many residents said they are just tired of waiting. And if they money from the grant is going to be used to fix homes in the area, they want to see it done soon. “This should have been handled like yesterday,” said Patterson. “This should have been taken care of.” Mayor Brooks has seen the devastation and understands the frustrations, but he wants to assure homeowners that the aid is still on the way. “I know it’s been a very frustrating process for them,” said Mayor Brooks. “And not getting any kind of feedback as to what’s happening, that’s what’s made it difficult for some. But the grant is there. And that’s not the run-around. That is a fact.” Mayor Brooks said he did not know when the application reviews will take place. He said the applicants will be contacted individually once an appointment can be set up.

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