Demo by Property Owners Not Eligible for Debris Pickup by FEMA and City
BY DAVID FISHER
DRESDEN (July 8) — According to Dresden city officials, August 6, 2022, is the deadline for the debris pile at the water tower on Jones Street and the sand pit on Highway 22 to be completely hauled away. The property owners should have already placed eligible debris at the right of way for pickup.
Debris from buildings that were scattered on the ground and in the streets during the December 10, 2021, tornado is eligible for FEMA funds to cover the cost of monitoring and removal to a certified dumpsite. However, the costs of debris removal from damaged structures that were left standing, and torn down after, are the responsibility of the property owners. These costs are to be paid by the owners’ insurance companies.
City Recorder Jennifer Branscum said, “We have requested an extension, in case all of the debris has not been hauled away before the August 6 deadline, but we have not yet received a response.”
If debris is hauled away that is not eligible, the city risks not receiving FEMA funding. The city will be reimbursed for debris removal costs after the job is complete and the debris removal contractor – Quality Contractor Services headquartered in Milan – is paid. FEMA has agreed to pay 90 percent of the disaster relief effort in Dresden, leaving the state and city to pay 5 percent each.
Debris Tech, based in Picayune, Mississippi, is the city’s debris removal monitor, and is responsible for keeping up with the amount of material hauled to an approved dumpsite by the debris removal contractor.
During a recent meeting, Mayor Jeff Washburn stated local citizens should have already placed their storm debris next to the street to be picked up by the contractor. He mentioned the contractor has already made one pass throughout the city, which may be followed by a second pass.
The City of Dresden is responsible for picking up all vegetative debris, which will be hauled away by city employees.
“The cleanup is going well. It’s just a slow process because there is so much of it,” Branscum said. “As of July 4, the debris removal contractor has picked up 895.8 tons of construction debris.” She notes in accordance with the terms of the contract signed with Quality Contractor Services, debris removal costs $50 per ton. This amounts to $44,790, so far, with FEMA paying $40,311, the state paying $2,239.50 and the city paying the remaining $2,239.50.