Sneads’ new town manager vows to keep town hurricane cleanup costs to minimum

Hurricane Michael devastated the town of Sneads. The damage, at this point, is incalculable.

However, Town Manager Lynda Bell – on the job since August – said she aims to help the town keep the municipal costs of clean up and maintenance/restoration to a minimum.

In a report made to the council at its regular meeting this past Tuesday, Bell said, “FEMA will pay 75 percent of the municipal costs. The state will pay 12.5 percent and the town is required to pay 12.5 percent. However, there is a way for the town to avoid those costs by documenting and submitting on applications for assistance such items as volunteer hours, delivery and transportation costs and many other things.”

It will take a lot of meticulous paperwork, enough for one full time job, she added, but it will be done.

Bell has attended twice-weekly FEMA meetings since the storm and has “requested everything humanly possible,” she told the council.

“If we can document those costs in reports,” she said, “that 12.5 percent can become 0 percent.”

Although the figure is at a relatively low 12.5 percent, “that could still be a lot of money,” she added.

It is too early to asses the total financial costs, Bell said after the meeting. Bell gave high praise to city maintenance supervisor Gary Pittman, who was recognized at the meeting and asked to stand for a round of applause.

Council President Helen Grice spoke highly of the public’s work in the wake of the national disaster.

“I want to say thank you to our residents,” she said Tuesday night. “It’s been a trying time, but they have been wonderful, especially since with such a hard hit, it was not possible for the town to get to everyone. But there were many blessings.”

Copyright 2021 Priority News Inc.