Jefferson City Public Schools contacts tornado-damaged homeowners about buyout

4 months 3 weeks 6 days ago Tuesday, July 09 2019 Jul 9, 2019 Tuesday, July 09, 2019 6:33:00 PM CDT July 09, 2019 in News
By: Garrett Jones, KOMU 8 News Reporter
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JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City Public Schools is considering a buyout of several homes damaged by the May 22 tornados.

Rachel Hall, who lives in a neighborhood near Jefferson City High School, received a letter from Chief Financial Officer Jason Hoffman on Saturday.

Hoffman expressed his sympathy for those affected by the storm's damage, and said a number of community members have reached out to the district to gauge its interest in purchasing the properties to have room to expand the high school.

"The Jefferson City High School campus is landlocked, so, while the suggestion does make sense, we recognize the sensitivity of the proposal," Hoffman said in the letter.

Hall said she thought the issue was too sensitive for tornado-damaged homeowners, especially those nearest to the tornado's path.

"It's not just the properties they want to buy, it's people's homes," she said.

The letter said the district inquired after people in the community offered their properties. JCPS did not respond to requests for comment on Tuesday.

Leta Ponder, who also lives in the area, said the district hadn't reached out about buying her home.

"People have suffered enough damage on their own, and now they are wanting to buy ravaged houses, what sense does that make?" she said.

A recent joint assessment found 611 structures in Cole County were damaged by the tornado.

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