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West Liberty leaders announced Thursday an initiative that will help them rebuild much of what was lost in a tornado two years ago.

In 2012, much of what was West Liberty was lost after a tornado crippled the town - seven people were killed, 400 homes were demolished and millions of dollars were left in damage.

"As the mayor said, they lost 30 percent of the tax base from the buildings destroyed that were economic engines paying taxes, were gone," said Robert Clark.

On Thursday, community leaders discussed a project for rebuilding West Liberty. It's called Clinton Global Initiative America Commitment To Action, and the goal is to rebuild a sustainable community starting with four energy efficient homes. To do that, the city will need to raise $500,000.

"That's gonna show progress, and that will reinforce energy and hope," Clark said. "The real challenge here is hope in any community that's suffered things like this."

As part of the project, 48 townhomes are already being built.

"We just need some resources, we need people, we need businesses, and of course we need residents and places for them to come and live," said Mayor Mark Walter.

Leaders say the goal is to give people who lost everything something to come back to; not just a place to live, but a strong community.

City leaders say the first fundraiser kicks off Thursday night.


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