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Central Ill. community offering building permits

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013 7:29 a.m. CDT

WASHINGTON — Rebuilding work could soon get underway in Washington, weeks after a massive tornado ripped through the central Illinois community.

Washington residents began applying for building permits on Monday, according to a report in the (Peoria) Journal Star.

The Nov. 17 tornado that touched down in the city of about 16,000 residents damaged or destroyed about 1,000 homes, killing one resident. The storm was part of a series of two dozen twisters that hit the state, killing seven people. So far, 15 counties have been declared federal disaster areas.

On Monday, a steady flow of residents visited with city officials to get information about rebuilding efforts. Homeowners will need to fill out an application and pay a permit fee. They also need to present a construction plan that will be reviewed by an inspector.

But that could prove to be a lengthy process, said Jon Oliphant, Washington's director of planning and development. That's because the community has a single, part-time building inspector.

"We're just asking for some patience from owners and contractors," Oliphant said.

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