CHICO (CBS13) — The town of Paradise got a small dose of normalcy Tuesday night amidst the crisis caused by the deadly Camp Fire. They held their regularly scheduled council meeting.
Every Paradise council member is also a Camp Fire victim. The fire destroyed each of their homes. With the long list of immediate needs — the council focused on how to rebuild.
“[I’m] already starting to look long-term,” Paradise Vice Mayor Greg Bolin said. “I’m looking down the road to how we’re getting started again.”
As the city sits in ruins, it’s utilities, homes, and businesses destroyed, with teams searching for the missing and identifying the dead, Bolin has already made inquiries about building Paradise again.
“Already met with some architects,” Bolin said. “And [we’re] starting to generate plans on houses we know that are going back up.”
Bolin, who has lived in Paradise since the 60’s, says FEMA officials have told him the road to rebuilding may take five or six years.
Paradise will likely install a new sewer system because it’s the largest city in California that was still using septic tanks. Even before infrastructure is finished, Bolin says people need to come back to the community.
He wants churches and schools to begin offering services first.
“Once that happens, people start having hope again. We gotta get hope going, coming back to the town, and that’s what we’ve been told from FEMA and others that’s how you do it,” he said.
The Paradise Unified School District is meeting on Wednesday to work on getting kids back into some kind of school schedule. The district lost at least three school buildings in the fire.