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Winter Park / Maitland Observer Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017 1 week ago

City estimates Irma cleanup will cost $1.4M

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Maitland leaders expect to receive $1.05 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
by: Troy Herring Associate Editor

Much of the Maitland City Council’s Oct. 9 discussion centered on post-Irma recovery.

Of the six items on the consent agenda itself, four dealt directly to Hurricane Irma relief. 

Among the four items, the biggest was in relation to the move to approve a budget adjustment for the 2017 fiscal year General Fund budget in the amount of $1.4 million.

The money will help cover costs relating to overtime, tree removal services, debris-removal services and debris-monitoring services.

City staff expects that Federal Emergency Management Agency will reimburse 75% of the total costs — or $1.05 million of the total — while the remaining $350,000 would be pulled from the General Fund Designation for Emergencies. The hope though, said City Manager Sharon Anselmo, is that FEMA can cover more than the estimated 75%.

“Based upon historical amounts, typically they’ll go up to 90%, but it depends on what it is and some of it will be found ineligible,” Anselmo said. “So we just estimated 75%, hopefully it’ll be 90% — it’s conservative.”

The cost of $1.4 million came largely from an estimate done by staff as it relates to the amount of debris by cubic yards that has been, and will be, picked up in total.

The expectation is for the $1.4 million to cover a collection of about 50,000 cubic yards of debris. However, currently, about 24,000 cubic yards of debris has been collected with more to come.

Currently, Maitland is waiting to begin meetings with FEMA representatives, though it is believed the organization will start contacting cities within the next month.

Along with the budget adjustment, the city moved to approve multiple contracts relating to debris with Windermere Land & Tree Service Inc. and Thomas Consulting Services Inc.

After the city’s contracted debris hauler, AshBritt Inc. notified the city that it could not fulfill its contract to remove bulk debrisback on Sept. 20, the city set out to find a new company to help with debris.

After an abbreviated competitive selection, Windermere Land & Tree Service was chosen. That company will take up the task of debris removal at a cost of $1 million.

Along with Windermere Land & Tree Service, a contract with Thomas Consulting Services was approved as a means to bring about oversight on debris cleanup.

With limited city staff and the immense amount of reporting and monitoring required, Anselmo decided it was in the best interest to bring about a firm that could oversee debris removal and decided to work with Thomas Consulting Services Inc. under a cooperative purchasing agreement with the City of Leesburg. The current cost estimate for the contract is at $100,000.

But the good news for Maitland residents is that the debris pick-up is on schedule at the moment.

“It’ll be 30 days on Wednesday (Oct. 11), and we think it’ll be another week and a half — so it’ll be right at 44,” Anselmo said. 

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