Beaver Crossing Woman Left Out of Relief Fund

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Beaver Crossing, Neb.-- It’s been nearly a month since severe storms tore through the Village of Beaver Crossing and many people who live in the area still need assistance. One of them is rural homeowner Katie Schweitzwer, but to her surprise she doesn't qualify for a fund available to others.

Schweitzer’s home is considered to be in rural Nebraska, but her address is still in Beaver Crossing. When she heard of the Beaver Crossing Disaster Relief Fund, she asked the village officials for help, but was told that nothing could be done because of where she lived.

Schweitzer’s home is two-and-a-half miles away from the village and therefore does not qualify for the fund.

“Basically the village consists of corporate city limits, and we’ve done a one mile jurisdiction,” said Village Treasurer, Shannon Chesnut. “You have to be one mile inside the limits to apply.”

Though the fund is limited, officials say there are other ways rural areas can get help.

“If [people] come into town, they can ask for help,” said Chesnut.

Chesnut says the village has The Small Business Administration set up in the village's fire hall to help those who need loans, and can help gather volunteers and other resources for rural homeowners.

Schweitzer said that knowing she is not included in the fund makes her feel like an outcast.

“We support Beaver Crossing by shopping here,” said Schweitzer. “It just took me back, and it’s not fair.”

Officials said rural areas that sustained damages from the storm will need to ask their county and/or state for financial help. Those who are within the one mile radius of Beaver Crossing have until June 16 to fill out an application for the disaster relief fund.