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Taxpayers Foot $185,000 Bill For Storm Clean-Up
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Clean up

Money to clean up tree debris left behind by one of the worst ice storms in recent memory will be taken from the Dawson County budget.

We have a contingency fund set aside to use for emergencies, Dawson County Commission Chair Mike Berg said. No money is coming out of the general fund. We have approximately 19 percent of the total budget set aside in a contingency fund.

Back-to-back storms hit the area Feb. 16 and again Feb. 26. Clean-up, including damage to two sheriffs department vehicles, is expected to cost more than $185,000.

County Manager Cindy Campbell provided the Dawson News & Advertiser with a breakdown of storm-related expenses: public works $167,354 including $4,065 in overtime pay and emergency services $1,274 with $932 in overtime pay.

Damage to two sheriffs department vehicles cost $11,429. One K-9 unit in service was damaged when a tree fell on it, and a second vehicle parked at a deputys home also sustained damaged from a falling tree.

Clean-up, Campbell said, could take up to 3.5 months.

If anyone still has debris on their roads, they should call 3-1-1 to get on the schedule, she said.

Dawsons Public Works department is currently following its mowing schedule to efficiently traverse hundreds of county maintained roads, Campbell said.

County officials asked for state and federal assistance with storm clean-up costs and were turned down.

All damage for the entire state must meet a threshold before a federal declaration which would pave the way for federal funding to come down through from FEMA to GEMA, Campbells report noted. That threshold is $1.41 per capita statewide ($3.56 per capita countywide).