JP Council questions manpower being used in debris cleanup

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wwltv.com

Posted on September 13, 2012 at 5:28 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 13 at 5:41 PM

Scott Satchfield / Eyewitness News
Email: ssatchfield@wwltv.com | Twitter: @satchfield

JEFFERSON, La. -- At a special meeting Thursday, the Jefferson Parish Council questioned the amount of manpower the parish's two debris removal contractors – DRC and Ceres -- are using in the cleanup effort.

Council members say the numbers of crews on the streets fall below what is called for in the service contracts.

“If that's what's expected and stated within a contract, then that's what we're gonna expect of you to be able to perform. That would certainly explain why we're still seeing a lot of debris out," said At-Large Councilman Chris Roberts.

Roberts said he wasn't aware of the situation until Thursday, which sparked another round of contention.

"We found out today that the administration had sent letters off to both companies, saying they had not met the terms of their contract. This was the first time we were informed that that was the case and it's certainly not consistent with the public information that's been released by the parish," Roberts said.

"There is a dispute about what the contract actually calls for and I can only tell you that those issues were discussed in three meetings that we've had," said Christopher Cox, the parish chief operating officer.

The administration maintains the effort is running ahead of schedule and officials are now targeting early next week to begin the final round of passes through neighborhoods.

"I think it's gone well overall. There are certainly some areas that can be improved upon and we are hoping and working with the contractors to resolve those issues," Cox said.

Roberts has a much different take on the situation.

"We're being told that the first pass was completed Monday,” he said. “We know that that's not accurate. So, we question the information that's being provided to us."

We tried to get direct responses on the council's concerns from both companies.

Representatives from Ceres declined our request for an interview after the special meeting, while officials with DRC didn't return our calls Thursday afternoon.

 

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