Singleton handing out money

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 24, 2005

State Sen. Bobby Singleton braved the pounding rain and thunderstorms Tuesday to make his way around the Black Belt delivering much needed funding.

Singletons first stop was in Demopolis where he arrived at city hall to give Mayo Cecil P. Williamson and her staff a pat on the back and federal reimbursement for Hurricane Ivan. Singleton told the recipients he appreciated their tireless efforts.

“We want to thank you for all the hard work that you have done,” Singletons said. “We really appreciate all that you did.”

The check was for $137,409.89 and was given the pay the city back for all they had done to make a smooth recovery from the hurricane. Singleton said there should be more funding on the way.

“I think that they still have some more to come,” Singleton said. “This is the federal reimbursement part of it and they still have the state part to come.”

Hurricane recovery was a citywide effort, from the mayor, to the city clerk to the FEMA representatives themselves.

City Clerk Carla Cowling said one member of their team gave them a direct line to FEMA.

“Marty Hoven was the main contact between FEMA and the city of Demopolis,” Cowling said. “He worked closely with the department heads on documentation and expenditures. It probably took about 100 to 120 hours of work to get it all completed”

Hoven said he was very grateful for the help he received from the FEMA representatives.

“I would just like to thank Frank Ketcham and Bob Snyder who were our FEMA representatives,” said Hoven. “Frank was from Oregon and Mr. Snyder was from Missouri and they came in and were a big, big help to us. We could not have done it without them.”

The work to restore order and get the funding they needed was an around the clock effort. Hoven said it would be difficult to tell just how many hours everyone put in.

“There is no telling how many hours the FEMA guys put into it,” Hoven said. “They would come one or two days a week and work into the night to get the paperwork filed. They knew what the government was looking for on the forms. With grant writing working has to be just right.”

Once the Demopolis monies were in place Singleton made his way into Greene County to bring good news to the Boligee schools. Singleton said he planned to make a donation to help promote literacy in the small town.

“I am donating $2,000 to the school for their reading program,” Singleton said. “They need some money to buy some materials for their program so I am delivering that check to them this morning.”