September 18 2017
The attached update from Bill Moss provides some additional information concerning the process of debris collection for the City of Naples. I thought you may find it of interest.
From: Bill Moss <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Monday, September 18, 2017 10:51 AM
Subject: Storm debris removal
To: Bill Barnett <email@example.com>
Cc: City Council <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To follow up on our conversation, Collier County and the City have an interlocal agreement for debris collection. Collier County has a contract with Ashbritt, the same firm that has handled debris removal for the city and county in the past. The city also has a contract in the event Collier County cannot fulfill contractual obligations, which I do not believe will be the case.
Under this arrangement, the city will pay for all costs not reimbursed by FEMA. Reimbursement by FEMA should be 90%, 5% by State, and 5% city and county.
However, we know for experience that we have to supervise the contractor, document collection, submit reimbursement requests to FEMA, and be prepared for their audits. If FEMA does not have the funds, we may not get reimbursed, or they may reimburse and then “de-obligate” later and ask that funds be returned. FEMA reimbursement is slow and may take years. Collier County estimates the county-wide cost will be $50 million, so there is a serious cash outlay issue.
Collier County wants the Corps of Engineers to assume responsibility for debris removal. 4 or 5 other states have asked the Corps to assume responsibility. Florida has not. Apparently, Governor Scott is reluctant to make that request.
If the Corps assumes responsibility, the same contractor (Ashbritt) will be used. Ashbritt’s contract with the Corps apparently has a higher rate that the County’s contract. However, the city and county pay 5% for our respective share; the Corps pays the contractor; we do not deal with FEMA; we are not subject to audits; and, most importantly, we will still manage the contractor (Ashbritt).
Again, should this information be confirmed when you attend the briefing with the Governor this afternoon, the Governor should be urged to request that the Corps manage debris removal.
Ashbritt is and has been mobilizing to start work. I believe they will be ready to begin collection by this Friday. My concern is that our residents have a lot of work to do to get their horticulture debris to the street. When Ashbritt starts collection and residents then put out their storm debris after the first pass, it will be sometime before Ashbritt returns to the street for a second pass. The sooner that residents get debris to the streets, the greater the likelihood that their streets will be free of storm debris.
I will continue to verify information on my end.
City of Naples
If you wish to express your feelings concerning this issue, please feel free to reach out to our City Manager, the Mayor, and our City Council representatives. The email addresses to reach out to each of them are shown in the note above. Best regards,
Bill Lutz, President
Coquina Sands Association