Norfolk Southern moves assistance center to East Palestine
Norfolk Southern's Family Assistance Center is set to transition to a smaller, more permanent location where they say they will remain for at least the next two years.
Senior Director, Will Harden says they will continue making payments to East Palestine residents and people from surrounding communities for expenses related to the derailment.
"Should [residents] have any out-of-pocket for expenses for lodging, meals, other incidentals; they can seek reimbursement for that," Harden told 21 News.
So far, the railroad company has paid out $35 million worth of financial assistance to the village. The company has signed a 2 year lease on the center, Harden says they'll stay longer if needed.
21 News reporter, Leslie Huff asked what kinds of expenses would not be eligible for repayment, but Harden did not have any specific examples.
"If anybody has any out-of-pocket expenses dealing with the derailment, then I don't know of any occasion where we haven't reimbursed them, Harden said."
Business owners will also eligible for repayment, which can range from loss of sales to inventory equipment damage.
In order to get that money, businesses would need to document how they were affected financially.
According to Norfolk Southern representatives, documents business owners can bring to the center includes tax returns from the past three years, three months worth of bank statements, documentation of loss of wages paid to employees, profit loss statements, proof of business license and business ownership.
"There is a business loss process that [Norfolk Southern] has in place. We've made contact with many business here in town already and once they provide the documentation that we're looking for, I have a team that handles business loss claims as well," Harden said.
All aforementioned documents are not required. Norfolk Southern representatives say those are just examples of the types of paperwork people can bring with them to the center.
The Family Assistance Center is located at 191 E. Rebecca St in East Palestine.
The center open Tuesday, May 30 at 12 p.m.
Hours of operation:
Monday–Friday: 10 a.m.–6:30 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m.– 4 p.m.