BAXTER SPRINGS, KS.--- City leaders of Baxter Springs are working to bring order to the city after an EF-2 tornado ripped through it Sunday night. This evening the council held a meeting to discuss long-term recovery efforts. Four days after the tornado, power is shifting from emergency personnel and first responders, back to the elected city leaders. One of the first things on their agenda: They must designate a plan for removing debris.
After receiving approval from the State of Kansas, a disposal site is being setup in the far northwest corner of Baxter Springs. The decision to place the disposal site for solid waste left over from the tornado is saving the city half a million dollars. City officials estimate that 35 tons of debris will be moved over the next several weeks to this site.
"It's a solid waste site, just from the debris for the city of Baxter that we're going to be responsible for to remove from the city. We've come up with that late last night. The state came down and worked with us closely and expeditiously, and we got that thing done. And that's what we're going to do," said Randall Trease, Baxter Springs Mayor.
"It is not for contractors. It is not for the demolition of houses to haul out there. It is only for the debris that the city is responsible to cleanup and move," said Robert Myers, City Attorney.
The city has set a two week deadline for residents to place all of their tornado debris at curbside. That deadline is May 16th. City leaders say digging at the disposal site will begin tomorrow morning. Another important decision made tonight, a meeting will be held this Saturday at 10 a.m. at Baxter Springs High School. At that meeting, the mayor and city council will provide the public with a lot of important information regarding plans for the next two weeks, and answer any questions the public might have.