sanbrunofiredamage.jpgThe San Bruno City Council tonight approved a plan to begin distributing $395,000 in donations to individual victims of the Sept. 9 gas pipeline explosion as soon as next week.

The council unanimously agreed that the majority of the money received from individual and corporate donors over the past four months should be paid directly to residents of the Glenview neighborhood whose properties were damaged or destroyed in the disaster.

Council members Michael Salazar and Irene O’Connell, who formed a donations subcommittee to hear public input on what should be done with the money, said they considered suggestions made by phone, in emails and during testimony at a Jan. 5 meeting before coming up with their recommendations for the full City Council.

“The message that came through loud and clear was the need for financial assistance in the area,” Salazar said.

The council decided that 38 Glenview residents whose homes were demolished or red-tagged will receive $6,000 each, which accounts for about for about 58 percent of the donation funds.

Seventeen residents whose properties were moderately damaged or yellow-tagged will receive $4,000 each, and the 45 residents who suffered minor property damage will receive $1,000.

City Manager Connie Jackson said she was confident that everyone whose property was affected to any degree had been accounted for, and that the city was ready to start writing checks.

“We anticipate being able to distribute the funds by the end of next week,” Jackson said.

The city calculated that about $58,000 in donations will remain after residents have been paid, which the council recommended be temporarily set aside to provide for any unforeseen needs.

The money would be distributed within six months based on recommendations of an advisory committee that will include city officials and members of the public.

Mayor Jim Ruane thanked the public for contributing to the plan and applauded O’Connell and Salazar for their thorough and deliberate work in developing recommendations under challenging circumstances.

“It’s a moving target, this whole thing,” Ruane said. “This is unchartered territory for us.”

Chris Cooney, Bay City News

Want more news, sent to your inbox every day? Then how about subscribing to our email newsletter? Here’s why we think you should. Come on, give it a try.

Please make sure your comment adheres to our comment policy. If it doesn't, it may be deleted. Repeat violations may cause us to revoke your commenting privileges. No one wants that!