ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) - Residents who have storm debris are urged to clear their yards soon in order to help the City get the most reimbursement from FEMA to help with removal costs.
City trucks will make a few more rounds to pick up vegetative debris (piles of sticks and trees), and FEMA will cover the costs at 85 percent until June 27th.
Holly Hollman with the City of Athens hopes residents will take advantage of the free pickups.
"We have to get it done in a certain amount of time in hopes of getting reimbursement through FEMA," said Hollman. Again, that's for vegetative debris only.
According to Nate Custer, FEMA Public Information Officer, after June 27, FEMA will reimburse the debris removal costs up to 80 percent, and after several months the reimbursement will drop to 75 percent.
"It is to the City of Athens and the taxpayers' advantage to complete debris removal as soon as possible," said Custer.
The city will still pick up debris after June 27, but it would help keep the cost down if you can get it cleaned up before then.
"We won't get as much reimbursement from FEMA", Hollman said. "We will go back to our normal trash schedule and that's four cubic yards of waste per household, and if it's beyond that the resident has to pay."
There are a few things you can do to make it easier and cheaper for everyone:
- Take debris out to the right-of-way. Trucks cannot go on public property.
- Keep it out of roadways and ditches.
- Separate your debris before piling out for pickup.
By separating it, that means putting aside piles of trees and plants from any construction or other materials.
"If you mix it together, we have to take it to the landfill and that costs us $51 a ton to deposit that, which ultimately costs the taxpayers," Hollman stresses.
City workers will release a schedule of their next pick up times and routes between now and June 27th. If the debris is a large load and roads need to be shut down, they will let residents know ahead of time.