A Marmaduke Man says the City Neglected Him

August 12, 2006 -- 6:00 PM CDT

MARMADUKE, AR -- Checks have been distributed to families in Marmaduke who fell victim to the tornado in April, but only those who live inside the city limits reaped the benefits.

"I don't particularly live in town," said Paul Shelton.  "I live just a few miles out of town, and there are several people in my community that lost everything, and they're not getting anything out of this."

Shelton lost his home in the storm and was lucky to receive help from the federal government, but he says that the local government has let him down.

"You think that you'd get more help from your local government because they're your friends and family," said Shelton.  "They just...I don't know...it just makes me feel real sad."

Mayor Nileane Drope said that the City Council decided to keep monetary donations for the Tornado Disaster Relief Fund within the city limits.

"When all the money finally came in from the fundraisers, the decision was made as to who got the money according to who had city services at the time of April 2," said Drope.

Mayor Drope and City Treasurer Betty Jackson said there are certain rules and regulations that they must abide by.

"My heart goes out to them for having lost their homes, their properties and what they have suffered as an individual," said Jackson.  "We deal directly with the city here.  We do not deal with the county," she added.

Shelton said he feels neglected.

"I'm still a part of the community," he said.  "I've lived here all my life...since I was about 3-years-old.  I've always had a Marmaduke address, and if I can keep it, I'm going to keep one."

He's proud to be a resident of Marmaduke, and said that living in the community should count for something.