Baxter Springs holds its first Long Term Recovery Committee meeting

Baxter Springs holds its first Long Term Recovery Committee meeting
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Baxter Springs resident Jen Smith is looking ahead.

“To move forward for the next six months, year, two years down the road, while we’re rebuilding homes, rebuilding businesses and rebuilding our community.”

Smith is the volunteer coordinator and chairman of the Baxter Springs Long Term Recovery Committee, a group comprised of citizens and the Ministerial Alliance that is working to move Baxter forward after the effects of the April 27th tornado.

The committee’s first meeting, held to identify its core group leaders and subcommittee, saw an influx of experts willing to help.

“From United Way, from Red Cross, other churches, the regional LTRC was in part of the meeting, as well as other city and county officials,” said Smith.

Leaders were chosen for various departments, including construction and cleanup, spiritual and emotional well-being, communications, case management and volunteer coordination.

Leaders of the various subcommittees will then plan their next steps. Although the volunteers were meeting under unfortunate circumstances, the morale was said to be high

“I think the town is just really ready to start filling these vacant spaces,” said Smith. Things are cleared out, we have a clean slate, and we have a real opportunity to kind of reinvent ourselves.”

The next committee meeting will be Sunday and will involve other long-term recovery groups from Southeast Kansas. The group is also collecting donations for a charity drive on Saturday, May 17, 9:00 to 4:00 at 2402 Military in Baxter Springs.