Thursday, August 26, 2010
FEMA/MEMA pick up tab for damages
By SUE WATSON
A May 1-2 flood that did an estimated $365,500 in damages to county infrastructure is being paid for with federal and state disaster relief funds, according to county administrator Larry Hall. The county and state are picking up 12.5 percent each of the tab.
Hall said the federal dollars helped the county out of a funding pinch by reimbursing the county for damages. Federal and state agents have worked hand in glove with the county to identify eligible projects and to keep track of the bookkeeping requirements, he said.
Some of the work was to repair washed-out culverts and roads and to clear debris left by high floodwaters.
“It’s taken a lot of our time, but is worth it in the long run,” he said. “It had to be done whether they helped out or not. They (FEMA/MEMA officials) are very much in agreement and complimentary of what we have done.”
The work will be audited to meet federal and state accountability standards.
Supervisors discussed progress on repairing roads damaged by heavy freeze/thaws last winter, saying they have been getting lots of calls from constituents about the unfinished repairs.
Hall said a contractor has been helping work on roads in critical need of repair. The contractor puts down soil cement and reseal and the county comes back over the area with tar and asphalt.
Hall said a breakdown in the tar truck had set crews behind in keeping up with the contractor. Only serious potholes are being dealt with on the first go around, he said.
Supervisor Ronnie Joe Bennett suggested the county may need to purchase more asphalt-type equipment. He reminded the board that his district still has lots of unpaved roads.
“But it is taking everything we have to maintain what we have,” he said, adding that he wants all roads repaired and work done fairly in each district.
Some citizens have been critical of the standards of paving on county roads but the county cannot afford to build them any better, he said.
Even some state-paved roads like Highway 349 in his district “came all to pieces last winter,” he said. “We are not used to that kind of freezing.”
Hall said the county crews cannot get all the damaged roads repaired that need reseal.
On the light side, a new spray truck capable of carrying 2,000 gallons is helping the county check some kudzu growth, he said. The vine can grow up to a foot a day.
In the garbage collection audit, Hall said can counts and non-active accounts are being reconciled and some customers did not owe anything due to having moved.
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