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County still waiting on FEMA

Two months after devastating storms blew through Pike County, officials are still working to clean up debris and awaiting federal disaster assistance.

“Our contractor has spent all of the second round of money, and we’re still cleaning up what we can with our scout truck,” said Russell Oliver, Pike County Engineer. “We’re about 70 percent complete overall.”

The commission authorized a total of $250,000 from the lodging tax fund to pay for an outside contractor to help with cleaning the roadside debris from the April 19-20 storms with 90 mph winds that left a path of destruction across the county.

Commissioners are optimistic that the funds spent out of the rainy day fund will be reimbursed by FEMA if a federal disaster declaration is issued.

Herb Reeves, Pike County Emergency Management Director, told the commissioners “it could be a couple of months before we have that declaration.”

“We’re still waiting on FEMA,” Reeves said. “They have everything they need right now, and we’re simply waiting for FEMA to approve it and send on for signing to our president.”

The declaration would open the way for state and county agencies to receive federal reimbursement for a portion of the costs associated with cleanup of the debris.

In other business on Monday, the commission:

• Set a public hearing for Aug. 10 to review requests to vacate portions of County Road 3341 and County Road 1159.

• Approved an internal hire for the Revenue Commissioner office as well as advertisement for another open position in the office.

• Approved the appointment of commissioner Chad Copeland to the  ACCA Legislative Committee.

• Met in executive session to discuss pending litigation and good name and character.