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70% of funding set aside for those affected by Weaver fertilizer plant fire remains unclaimed

v
David Ford
/
WFDD
Residents lined up to apply for reimbursement funds during an open application fair in March.

A majority of the money set aside to reimburse residents for their evacuation expenses during the Weaver fertilizer plant fire remains unclaimed.

The City of Winston-Salem allocated $1 million to reimburse low-income residents who were affected by the days-long incident back in February. Since then, only about $300,000 has been distributed.

Just 584 households have applied for relief. For context, more than 6,500 people were told to evacuate during the fire.

The city tapped nonprofit Experiment in Self Reliance to process applications and payments. The organization has held one application fair so far to drum up interest – that was back in March.

ESR says it will continue distributing money until June 30. In an email, city spokesperson Frank Elliott said they would “consider extending the time if ESR makes us aware of the need.”

Each affected household is eligible for up to $1,000. Officials say any unspent funds will return to city coffers.

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