Volusia County, FL – In Thursday’s meeting, the Volusia County Council discussed Hurricane Matthew recovery efforts and unanimously approved $500,000 in disaster recovery funds and a motion which will allow workers onto private roads and properties to remove storm related debris.
In the meetings first agenda item on Hurricane Matthew the council voted unanimously, 5 to 0, to approve a disaster recovery plan which will provide up to $500,000 in SHIP (State Housing Initiatives Partnership) disaster recovery funds. Speaking of this funding, County Manager Jim Dineen said, “this is another example of where we’re spending money to try to keep people from becoming homeless. Because some of these people, without this help, would end up losing their homes or not be able to stay in their homes because of the damage that’s done.”
This funding will go towards repairs needed to make houses habitable and to avoid further damage, construction/repair of wells where needed, and payment/repayment of insurance deductibles for eligible houses directly impacted by Matthew. Applications will be available online and the maximum award per applicant will be $20,000. If more than the approved $500,000 for the county is needed, more funds can be moved.
After approving that funding, the meeting moved on to its Hurricane Matthew response and recovery update.
Dinneen said he’s never been more proud of the collaboration between the county, the cities, power companies, and volunteers.
According to Public Works Director John Angiulli, 276,000 cubic yards of debris have been collected since Matthew. Usually, the county landfill gets 2,100 cubic yards daily. “We’ve picked up 4 months of green debris in 21 days,” said Angiulli. “Thats just unincorporated county. Now you roll that out county wide… I’d venture to say we’re probably approaching a years worth of debris picked up in 21 days when you factor in all the cities.” And as if those numbers weren’t staggering enough, Angiulli says overall county-wide there may be still over 2 million cubic yards of debris that needs to be picked up. He hopes to have all that debris picked up within a 60 to 90 day period.
According to Ralph Dahlgren, Sr. VP at Ashbritt, which is the county’s debris contractor, there are 38 trucks working in unincorporated Volusia County.
The County Council voted unanimously to approve a motion that provides temporary authority allowing county employees, contractors, and FEMA representatives to legally enter private roads and properties in the unincorporated area to remove disaster related debris.
Photo courtesy Elena Fernandez Z and Shutterstock.com.
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