DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - Dougherty County officials are applying for federal aid to clear storm damage from storm devastated private properties, like Paradise Village.
"It's is a terrible reminder of what so many went through. What our entire community went through quite frankly," said County Commissioner John Hayes as he looked at what used to be called Paradise Village on Holly Drive.
"This one remains pretty much what it was shortly after the storm and that's why we need to render some aid here," said Hayes.
County leaders want to bring aid to the mobile home park as well as the Piney Woods, Ivy and Willow Nook mobile home parks that still have a tremendous amount of debris.
"We have to be very concerned about public health and safety," explained Hayes.
In a letter to the county commission, dated March 9th, Health Director Charles Ruis said debris on private property "constitutes an immediate threat to public health and safety."
He went on to say the destroyed homes may have rats, snakes and other animals living in them as well as water that could breed disease carrying insects.
County Officials have applied for a grant through FEMA's Public Assistance Private Property Debris Removal and Demolition Program to be able to clear debris on the private properties.
"We were eligible for FEMA conditional approval to address the debris removal and demolition of these properties," said County Assistant Manager Michael McCoy.
On Thursday, county officials and FEMA Representatives will begin survey the damage on the four properties.
"There are hundreds of parcels and each one of them has to be evaluated," said McCoy.
Leaders said cleaning up the private properties will be a big step in the long process.
"We're working as hard as we possibly can to render aid where we can," said Hayes.
There's no real timeline on when the grant could get approved. It could be months before the county officials know.
McCoy said the federal government will pay for 75 percent of the grant, the state will pay 10 percent and the county will be responsible for the remaining amount.
If the grant is approved, the county will hire a contractor to come in and remove all of the debris.
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