City, volunteers will pick up every last leaf

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 22, 2004

DEMOPOLIS – City officials estimate debris removal will take more than a month to complete.

City and volunteer crews have been moving through neighborhoods in the city picking up limbs and other storm debris in the wake of Hurricane Ivan, which moved through the Black Belt as a Category 1 storm.

City Clerk Vickie Taylor said residents should be patient and know their piles will be picked up.

“The city is continuing to pick up storm debris but it’s going to take some time. We’re looking at 30-plus days to get it cleaned up, but the city is going to it up,” she said.

Taylor said she had a report of individuals telling residents the city would not be making any more pick ups, and that storm debris could be hauled away for a fee.

Those reports, she said, are unfounded.

“The city is responsible for removal and residents don’t have to pay someone to remove debris from the street,” Taylor said.

City crews have been moving through neighborhoods picking up debris, and Taylor said those crews would come around as many times as they were needed.

“The city crews will backtrack, so if they’ve already come through a neighborhood, they’ll be coming back,” she said. “We’re working hard to get our town back in order.”

In addition to the city workers, Taylor said a number of private contractors have volunteer to assist the city with debris removal.

Under the presidential disaster declaration, Demopolis is eligible for infrastructure assistance, which means costs incurred by the city – either damage to public property or clean up costs – will be reimbursed at some level by the federal government.

Marengo County has not been declared for individual assistance, however. Individual assistance provides disaster aid to homeowners and renters to help defray the costs incurred as a result of the storm.