Repairs To Weather Damaged Roofs In OK Means More Tax Dollars For Cities

Tuesday, October 9th 2012, 4:24 pm

When severe weather blew through this spring, it did a lot of damage, creating a lot of headaches. But now, a number of cities around the metro are reporting a silver lining to those dark clouds.

The pounding on roofs quickly became the sound of summer and now the fall in many Edmond neighborhoods.

"For about a month now that's all you hear is people getting new roofs," said Judy Yetter.

Yetter is one of those who will be getting a new roof after last May's storms did major damage across Edmond and Northwest Oklahoma City.

"It's going to be about $12,000," she said. 

Nearby, another roofer says he will do a half a million dollars' worth of work in that neighborhood alone. In most cases insurance companies are picking up most of the bill that includes sales tax on all the construction materials.

In Edmond, that has been significant. Sales tax collections for the last three months are up nearly 20%. Finance Manager Ross Vanderhamm attributes about 13% of that to new roofs.

"I just didn't expect the roofing material issue to have that kind of impact," said VanderHamm. "Because we've never received a five million dollar check before and all of a sudden we get three of them in a row."

And other storm struck cities report the same: the City of the Village a 19% increase, OKC says 2% of their 16% increase is related to the hailstorm.

This idea that storms can create some major economic activity is not new in city management circles. In Oklahoma City, the big storm two years ago is referred to as Storm-ilus because they say it brought us out of the recession.