The Webster Parish Police Jury is still working out the details of debris removal following the flooding March 8, but jurors want the public to know flood debris will be picked up.
The police jury has advertised for bids for the debris removal, disposal and monitoring and has received bids under an emergency declaration. In Monday’s meeting, the jury gave President Jim Bonsall authorization to sign the contracts should they need them. Discussion is still underway about whether the jury will take care of the debris removal, disposal and monitoring or if it will be contracted out.
At this time, though, jurors say homeowners and business owners, if they haven’t already, need to begin separating their flood debris so that it can be picked up. For vegetative debris, such as logs, plants and tree branches, do not bag it. Construction and demolition materials need to be separated as well. These include building materials, carpet, drywall, furniture, lumber, mattresses and plumbing.
Appliances and white goods will need to be piled into one. Electronics and household hazardous waste, such as cleaning supplies, batteries, lawn chemicals, and pesticides will also need to be grouped together.
District 11 Juror Steve Ramsey said during committee meetings Monday they need to get moving on the debris removal and set a date as quickly as possible.
“The east and west side of the lake are some of the worst areas,” he said.
Parish Attorney Patrick Jackson says the first thing homeowners need to do is make sure they registered for disaster assistance through Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“If we are not telling them to contact FEMA, then we are doing them a disservice,” he said.
District 12 Juror Dustin Moseley says they won’t know what they have until they can give the public a pick up date.
“We won’t know what we have until we set a date and say put it out there,” he said. “I don’t think it’s going to be that big, but we need to get it done as soon as possible.”
The issue is not whether demolition debris will be picked up, but rather if the police jury will be reimbursed by FEMA.
“If FEMA finds out that we’re collecting debris for insured structures, then you will not be reimbursed,” Jackson said.
Bonsall says once they get the details worked out, the jury will release a pickup date.
The jury approved a debris management plan for Webster Parish that will follow the guidelines of the FEMA.