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Monday, May 2, 2016

Cleanup continues; expenses are steep

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Fulton County Quorum Court held a special meeting March 26 at 6 p.m. to discuss finances for cleanup from the ice storm.

"We met today with a gentleman from FEMA and a gentleman from ADEM. They're working on our first PW, our project worksheet," Fulton County Judge Charles Willett said.

According to OEM Coordinator Darrel Zimmer, the amount estimated on the worksheet is $142,759.29. Overall work in cleaning debris is estimated at $923,102.07.

Judge Willett said the first amount of money FEMA will send may be received by the county early next month. "The balance of this will probably (be paid) the month after," Judge Willett said.

"This ($142,759.29) covers the first two weeks of the storm," Judge Willett said.

According to both Judge Willett and Zimmer, FEMA will be reimbursing money to the county about every month.

"The state will not pay us their 12.5 percent until we get it (cleanup) all done," Judge Willett said.

He said before the storm, the county had about $930,000 in the street and road department fund. "It's getting down pretty low, now," Judge Willett said. "(We can see) if we can set up some kind of line of credit and use it per pay period (to pay those who are cleaning debris) to see where we're at instead of doing it in one lump sum. I don't know what you all think. I know just about every two weeks it's (cost) close to $150,000 (for people working for the county to clean up debris)."

Judge Willett also said the county has to go around to each tree they have cut a hanging limb from and take a picture of it for FEMA. "They (FEMA) pay us $90 per tree, so it's going to be very beneficial for us to do that. We're going to have some guys start probably tomorrow or Monday driving every road and taking these pictures," Judge Willett said.

"When the Corps went through here, we argued on what the debris and the hangers (hanging limbs) were, and we figured out it could be close to $3 million or so. We're going back now and doing all this to get our money," Judge Willett said. "That's basically where we're at right now."

Zimmer said the county has been able to clean up about a fourth of the county.

Judge Willett and Zimmer explained that FEMA pays by the hour and they justify the amount of work done by the debris piles once they have been chipped.

"Right now, we do have a place that's taking our chips. It's a mulching company in Florence, Mo.," Judge Willett said. He said FEMA is paying to have it all shipped there.

Judge Willett said the Arkansas Highway Department owes $129,000 to the county on work done on the Heart Bridge from last year's floods. "I'm thinking within 30 days we should have that (the money)," Judge Willett said. He said that money could help the county out in financing cleanup.

The court made a motion to create a line of credit at the bank for $450,000 and approved it. "We'll only withdraw what we need per pay period (about every two weeks)," Judge Willett said.

The next regular Fulton County Quorum Court will be held April 13 at 7 p.m.



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