ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Community leaders are reminding homeowners that time is of the essence.
The sooner you get your storm debris to the curbside, the better.
City and county leaders are keeping their eyes on the clock.
Nearly 300,000 cubic yards of storm debris have been picked up in Albany since the first round of storms.
There are still about 64,000 cubic yards to be picked up.
And the quicker homeowners get their debris out to the curb, the less impact on taxpayers.
Dead branches, stumps, and other debris are still piled up on the sides of the roads.
"It's a constant reminder of what we've gone through," said county commissioner John Hayes. "And as we begin to clean up, I think encouragement begins to set in. And we want to continue to do just that. To encourage our citizens."
They warned that procrastinating could have negative effects on the city and county's finances.
"We're trying to encourage citizens to make sure that they don't wait until the last week to remove debris to the road because the window of opportunity is almost at stake," said city commissioner Jon Howard.
Commissioner Howard explains that the quicker the debris is picked up, the greater potential for a larger percentage of FEMA reimbursement.
Within the first 30 days, 85 percent of the cost will be reimbursed by FEMA.
The next 60 days after that, 80 percent is reimbursable.
But after 90 days, that percentage drops to 75 percent--the FEMA minimum.
"For the city, it's to our advantage to try and get as much of the debris up in that early part of the period so we can get the maximum amount of reimbursement for our eligible debris," said Assistant City Manager Phil Roberson.
Commissioner Howard urged residents to take advantage of this time period before the 180 days is up.
"We don't want to let our revenue, it would be depleted, but it'll have a profound impact on it if we have to do it ourselves," he said.
Something to consider: the debris contractors need time to recycle the storm debris, and both the collection of the debris and the recycling of it needs to be done within 90 days from the storm.
So, the sooner folks get the downed trees and limbs to the curb, the quicker the entire job will be done.