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Another $2.9M Up For Consideration For City Storm Debris, Repairs

By Christina Haley O'Neal, posted Dec 4, 2018
Debris removal from Hurricane Florence is set to wrap up soon, as another round of funding for post-storm recovery efforts is up for consideration by Wilmington City Council.

Council members are set to consider Tuesday evening another approval request for the citywide cleanup and repair efforts following Hurricane Florence in the amount of $2.9 million from the city's general fund, according to the city’s agenda.

City officials said during the city council's agenda briefing Monday that storm debris removal should be wrapping up soon and that a discontinuing date of the storm debris removal process could be announced this week.

The city’s contractor has "largely completed the second and final pass for debris collection from Hurricane Florence and expects to complete pick up of construction/demolition debris this week," according to a city news release Tuesday.

Officials said in the release that final cleanup of isolated and missed piles continues. The city estimates all eligible storm debris should be removed before Christmas, stated the release.

More than 1.3 million cubic yards of storm debris have been picked up, according to the release.

City officials said at the briefing that they are working with FEMA representatives on a worksheet for contracted debris removal. The city hopes to get 75 percent of that expedited, officials said at the briefing.

Dylan Lee, spokesman for the city, said that the city hopes to get FEMA money soon, adding that the timing is “out of our hands."

According to the resolution, "FEMA reimburses 75 percent of eligible costs. In conversations with our FEMA representative, we will be able to submit a project worksheet for our contracted debris removal with these final estimated costs by the end of the year and can expect the 75% reimbursement to be received quickly thereafter."

This reimbursement is slated to be used to pay back the loan from the debt service fund and assist with ongoing city repairs, documents state.

DRC Emergency Services LLC has been contracted by the city for debris removal. The city is also considering a resolution Tuesday for more than $5 million to continue debris removal, "for a total contract amount not to exceed" $18.3 million.

Mark Stafford, DRC's vice president of response and recovery, said in a website video that vegetative debris from Wilmington ais being hauled to vegetative debris sites to process the debris by grinding.

“In this particular case there is no haul out to final disposal. This is the final disposal site, so all of the mulch you see back here will be processed and used any number of reuses,” he said in the video.

In October, the city council approved $7.5 million for DRC's services and a second order to continue debris removal for additional funds, “not to exceed” $5.7 million, according to city documents.

The city is also set to consider debris monitoring and recovery services task orders for more than $426,600 for a total contract amount not to exceed of $1.8 million for companies Witt/O’Brien’s LLC and Landfall Strategies LLC.
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