Possible delays in picking up Isaac debris in JP

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wwltv.com

Posted on September 4, 2012 at 6:09 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 4 at 10:38 PM

Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News
Email: pmurphy@wwltv.com | Twitter: @pmurphywwl

JEFFERSON, La. -- Most neighbors in Jefferson Parish are now in the process of removing their storm debris from Isaac and neatly stacking it in front of the homes.

But, it could be a while before parish debris contractors haul away the piles.

According to parish leaders, contractors bid the job too low before the start of hurricane season season and are now having trouble hiring sub-contractors to pick up the debris.

"I know that the vendors are doing their best to get subs, however if the subs can go to other markets and make more money, then obviously that's where they're going to go," said JP Councilman At-Large Chris Roberts.

Roberts said after past storms, contractors were offering up to $20 per cubic yard to haul away debris. He said the parish's two vendors, Ceres Environmental and the DRC Group, are offering about half that amount.

Neighbors hope the parish can find a quick solution to the problem.

"I'm sorry that's happening and it certainly does show poor planning on the part of people who are agreeing to do something and then can't follow through," said Jacqueline Graff.

"I think that means a lot of stuff is going to be out here kind of rotting and stinking for a good while," said Kenny Ripberger. "There is already a bit of an odor."

Roberts said the parish is now checking with its attorney to see if there are any clauses in the debris removal contracts that would allow the parish to hire other vendors if the ones now holding the contracts can't do their job in a timely basis.

"We're hoping that they included language in there that would require certain performance measures to be guaranteed. The Corps of Engineers in the past has handled storm debris. The Corps has tried to get out of that responsibility, meaning moving away from picking up debris. In this event it's being handled directly by the parish."

Still, one neighbor said she won't let delays in picking up her debris get her down.

"The debris, while I don't like it, if it doesn't get picked up on a timely basis that's not a crisis to me," said Graff. "It's not stopping me from going forward with my life. It's a little unsightly, but I can deal with that."

The debris removal contractors did not respond to requests for comment on the potential delays.

 

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