Feds may pay up to 90 percent of storm cleanup

Published 10:50 am Wednesday, September 14, 2011

FRANKLIN—The federal government will pay for up to 90 percent of the $100,000 to $125,000 bill to clean up and dispose of storm debris left from Hurricane Irene.

City Manager June Fleming told the Franklin City Council on Monday that the city will pay contractor Phillips and Jordan $10 to $12 per cubic yard for picking up an estimated 10,000 cubic yards of debris.

“The cost will be high, but we do not have any choice,” Fleming said. “It’s money well spent. It has to be spent.”

The first round of pickups could be completed by Wednesday. A final pickup will begin Monday, Sept. 26.

The city also hopes the Federal Emergency Management Agency will help defray wages and overtime for emergency and public works personnel, which is estimated at $85,000, said Community Development Coordinator Donald Goodwin.

In addition, the city expects to spend $33,000 to repair roads and bridges damaged by flooding. Another $200,000 will be needed to pay for utilities, which includes labor, material and outside help.

The city also hopes to get reimbursed for $6,000 in wind and water damage to city buildings.

Goodwin said that while the city is required to immediately deal with storm-related problems, like debris removal, that could cause public safety or health concerns, other issues can be delayed to allow FEMA to approve projects.

The program requires the city to document all repairs. He said city would be scrutinized heavily to make sure everything that is documented is a storm-related expense.

“It’s time-consuming and it’s a stress on our local staff,” Goodwin said. “It puts a strain on resources.”

Goodwin said there is a possibility the cost estimates could go down once bids and quotes for repairs start to come in.