ALBANY, GA (WALB) - There is good news for residents that live in Dougherty County.
The county has finally hired a contractor to finish storm debris collection.
“Yes, I’ve been here all my life. Born and raised from Phoebe Putney,” said resident Maurice Stephens.
Stephens has seen it all living here in Dougherty County, from the January 2017 tornadoes to Hurricane Michael this past October. But what he’s ready to see now, is the storm debris picked up in the county.
“They’re doing a good job picking up debris, you know. I’ve seen them on the side of the road, you know, actually on the side of the road, getting it up, getting it up,” said Stephens.
Dougherty County Public Works has been tasked with debris collection since the Army Corps of Engineers stopped picking it up last month. Now, the county has hired help with the storm debris removal.
“We’ll bring on board a professional service that’s more efficient than our resources,” said County Administrator Mike McCoy.
The county’s equipment just won’t do the job, so now they’ve hired Ceres Environmental Services. They’ll be employed with the county for the next five years.
“We’re very, very excited that they should be able to hit the ground running with debris removal this week," said McCoy.
Ceres will pick up debris as long as they’re needed. But Stephens said he hopes we’ll see the county return to normal soon, the way it was before Hurricane Michael struck.
“The thing is it’s patience, faith and belief in God and we’ll make it. That’s it,” Stephens said.
The money to hire Ceres will come out of the Special Services District Fund for now, but it will eventually be reimbursed through FEMA.
The bills after Hurricane Michael are continuing to pile up. This time, Dougherty County commissioners will have to pay over $350,000 to Tetra Tech for debris monitoring services.
If the county wants to see any of the money they spend on storm debris collection reimbursed eventually, they have to follow strict rules set by the federal government.
This means they have to hire Tetra Tech to monitor the contractor picking up the storm debris.
“It’s federal guideline that you must have a monitor oversee the work of the debris removal company,” said McCoy.
Commissioners voted to not spend more than $359,000 for the debris monitoring services.
This money will eventually be reimbursed by FEMA, as well.