Photo of ice storm debris cleanup in Richmond County
Augusta, GA -
More debris piles up as contractors try to finish up cleaning Augusta streets, but for the city of Augusta, also starting to pile up is the cost of the recovery.
“It's just a tough situation, George, There was no way to truly analyze how much damage was done from what we said,initially. We got to get it done,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Corey Johnson.
To get this cleanup done, Augusta Commissioners approved increasing the contracts for the companies doing the cleanup: $2.5 million for the company picking up limbs, increasing its total to $14 million, and $300,000 more for the company monitoring and documenting the recovery, increasing their piece of the pie to $2.2 million.
This is expected to be enough to finish the job.
“After this money in the contract,you will not ask for any more?” we asked Interim Deputy City Administrator Steve Cassell. “This is it, this is the debris removal contract. Our debris is removed, the residents need to go back to solid waste contracts,” said Cassell.
Several storm piles remain in south Augusta, but city leaders are pushing to have it all cleaned up by this Friday.
“We're 85 percent of the way there. We still got three and a half days, we've made tremendous progress the last two days,” said Cassell.
Costs are going up for the storm removal, however, the city says this project is winding down. “They have made the conscience effort to do what we can to get rid of it and hopefully, with this last push, we can make it happen. Everything after that will fall back on our local contractors,” said Johnson.
Friday is the goal to finish the cleanup because out-of-town tree crews have to get out of their hotels because of the Masters.During the tournament, any needed cleanups will continue using local crews
The contractors will return to the job and work until all the streets are clean and the four disposal sites are, as well.