Dougherty County awaits FEMA response on debris removal grant

Photo: MGN Online

Dougherty County is still awaiting word on whether their request for federal reimbursement for debris clean-up on private roads will be granted by FEMA under a Private Property Debris Removal grant.

County officials sent the request along with information from the Department of Health that debris on private roads “constitutes an immediate risk to public health and safety.”

According to the request (see attached letter), submitted by Dougherty County Administrator Michael McCoy, “the determination was based on the widespread nature of the debris throughout the County and the threat the debris poses to our citizens. Without the approval to remove debris from these roads, we believe the debris will remain on private property for an unreasonable amount of time causing extended and continuing threats to public health and safety and increased damage—and cost—to improved property.”

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will not send debris crews onto private roads according to county officials.

There has been previous usage of the PPDR grant in Dougherty County following the January 2017 tornado that came through the area.

“It is our hope that FEMA will agree with us there is an immediate need for debris clean-up on private property across Dougherty County,” said Commission Chairman Christopher Cohilas. “There are many families that live on these private roads, who are contending with paying exorbitant amounts of money to remove massive amounts of debris and haul it to the landfill. Some folks simply won’t be able to afford it, and the debris will sit there, becoming a health and an economic hazard. These folks pay county, state and federal taxes, and also need help recovering from this disastrous Hurricane.”

The request was submitted November 1.

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