Commission approves multi million dollar budget for Matthew debris removal

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CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga (WSAV) – It was a busy day for Chatham county commissioners who met today for the first time since hurricane Matthew. CEMA, public works, and the county finance department laid out some big numbers on the cost of the storm.

Tropical storm Hermine will directly cost the county one million dollars. For just unincorporated Chatham county, it’s looking like Hurricane Matthew will leave a  bill of more than ten million dollars for debris removal. This time though the county is looking to see major support from FEMA as well as the state.

“Just this morning the actual estimate came back just under ten million,” says county finance director Amy Davis.

Add in the monitoring of that removal, the county is looking at a ten million dollar cost for clean up. What’s different than Hermine, FEMA and the state declaring a state of emergency for the area.

Now FEMA will come in and can reimburse the county 75 to 85% of the clean up cost.

“And the state will reimburse you twelve and a half, which means Chatham county taxpayers will be on the hook for the other twelve and a half percent and so that’s where we’re at with it,”says chairman Al Scott.

The county commission approved an allocated a budget of fifteen point seven million dollars for Matthew debris removal.

Later down the line, once the payments are given to FEMA to reimburse, the county hopes to have only paid around two million for clean up.

“I think the clean up will go a lot quicker, it still will probably take a month but we have a lot more resources.”

County leaders also approved for public works through FEMA aid to go into gated, private communities for clean up.

CEMA and public works laid out debris and damage totals, it’s believed that more than eleven hundred homes were damaged in Chatham county and the amount of debris reaches more than one point three million cubic yards.

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