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Elizabethtown will extend a hand of help to its Japanese sister city, Koori Machi, which has been battered by three earthquakes and is in the crosshairs of a possible nuclear meltdown.
Mayor Tim Walker recommended Monday that the city give Koori Machi $15,000 from contingency funds, saying the money will be used primarily to house the number of homeless people in the city who lost their homes to the damage. Walker has said the city’s school also was damaged.
Elizabethtown officials have been corresponding with Koori Machi officials since they made contact with the city after a massive earthquake and tsunami blasted Japan last month.
Koori Machi, which is home to about 15,000 people and is just north of Fukushima, also faces the threat of an unstable nuclear power plant within Fukushima. Walker told the council the perimeter around the plant has extended, which will add more burden to the city of Koori Machi as people are forced to evacuate the area.
Koori Machi has offered financial aid to Elizabethtown in the past, donating money after a storm in the early ‘90s and again after the ice storm that hit most of Kentucky in early 2009.
The council said it would like to open the line of giving to local businesses should they wish to assist Koori Machi in its recovery. Walker told the council last week that businesses had approached the city asking how they could offer aid and Akebono is collecting money toward the assistance effort. The Japanese corporation is the largest enterprise in Koori Machi, according to Elizabethtown’s official website.