Tornado relief efforts continue with help of R3SM

By NIKKI SMITH,

Officials from Recover, Rebuild, Restore South Mississippi (R3SM) approached the Petal Board of Aldermen to request aid for funding administrative positions.

Mayor Hal Marx and the board decided to take the request into advisement at a regular meeting of the board on Tuesday.

R3SM is a long-term disaster recovery agency that has aided the Pine Belt in the months following the January tornado.

Officials said another round of replacement housing totaling around $125,000 was recently approved for the area.

They are also looking at the approved repairs that will cost the agency approximately $75,000.

R3SM has also recently partnered with Mennonite Disaster Services, which has brought in around 30 people for about a year to live in Petal and aid the Pine Belt with disaster recovery.

Approximately 776 volunteers have come in to date since February to aid R3SM.

They requested $25,000 from the city of Petal to aid with their budget for next year to pay administrative fees.

“We are helping get people back in their homes,” he said.

“People want to pay for sheetrock and shingles. They don’t want to pay for salaries and support.”

“We will need to look at budget and make decision,” said Alderman William King.