Fairdale marks progress ahead of tornado anniversary

KIRKLAND, Ill. (AP) — Recovery efforts continue in Fairdale as the one-year anniversary of the deadly tornado that struck the rural DeKalb County community nears.

Residents broke out in applause several times Wednesday night at a meeting of the DeKalb County Long-Term Recovery Corp., including when organizers said a park would be finished ahead of schedule, The (DeKalb) Daily Chronicle reported.

On April 9, a tornado struck the community, killing two women and destroying nearly 70 buildings.

Since then, nearly $1 million has been invested in improvements to public infrastructure, including a new septic system, Wi-Fi service, well repairs and natural gas service.

Bill Nicklas, vice president of the DeKalb County Long-Term Recovery Corp., said the group plans to continue to help Fairdale residents as long as needed. But he expects most of the group's work to be done by the end of the year.

"We want to go out of business at some point," Nicklas said.

The agency's budget is $256,950 for this year, far less than the $1 million it spent last year.

In addition to the completion of the park, which will feature a memorial bench for the two women killed in the tornado, there are plans to install historic street lights and to complete additional well repairs and sanitary connections.

The group also will finish cleaning up remaining debris and planting about $15,000 worth of trees.


Information from: The Daily Chronicle, http://www.daily-chronicle.com