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City officials urge residents:

By Staff
Get debris on right-of-way
By MARY-ALLISON LANCASTER-Managing editor
Changes in federal guidelines regarding disaster assistance left city officials scrambling to negotiate a debris pre-contract. Now with only seven days left in that contract, city officials are urging residents to clean up quickly.
However, the good thing about Hurricane Ivan, Jennings said, was that it opened up their eyes to pre-set up a contractor to handle the debris.
Creamer and Dozier, a company based out of south Brewton, obtained the pre-contract and has been cleaning roads and picking up debris. With roadways cleared now, BFI has had the ability to pick up light trash and regular trash.
Not wanting to enter into a second contract, Jennings is urging all residents to place debris on the right-of ways.
City officials had to swiftly enter into an agreement with Creamer and Dozier because the threshold to acquire the pre-contract was set at 70 hours. That threshold began Monday at 6:30 a.m.
Rather than paying 100 percent up front like they did for Ivan, the Federal Emergency Management Agency told officials up front that would not happen again. Instead, 75 percent of disaster funds will be paid federally while the state will dish out 10 percent and the city will cover the remaining 15 percent.
Once the contractor's 70 hours are completed, the city must begin to pay out of pocket.
Director of community development, Pete Diurno said that an aerial view showed that the city had right below 100 trees felled by Dennis and about 10,000 to 15,000 cubic yards of debris on the ground, "but that could be a high estimate."
The City has developed a 27-page general contract that mimics contracts used by the city of Daphne as to how a future pre-contracts will be handled. The Corps of Engineers and FEMA will assist with the contract and will be reviewed for Due Process. Once the contract has been reviewed, it will be bid out to a contractor who can mobilize the situation. The process could take nearly a month or longer.
City Clerk John Angel said that there are already seven contractors interested in bidding for the job.