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Travel policy and debris cleanup addressed at Wilmington City Council meeting

READ MORE: Travel policy and debris cleanup addressed at Wilmington City Council meeting
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)-- A resolution amending Wilmington City Council's travel policy passed after being continued in a meeting back in August.

This comes after Councilwoman Laura Padgett exceeded her travel amount and asked the City's Audit Committee to reimburse her for about $700. Her request was denied.

Under the new resolution a member of council must request additional funding for their travels in front of Wilmington City Council and the public, not the audit committee.

"We wanted to get some clarity into our travel policy so we don't have a problem year in and year out," Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo said. "Council members should understand how much money that they have to make certain that if they decide to serve on a national board or state board that this is the amount of money that you have to determine if they can do it or not."

Councilman Ronald Sparks said that the new resolution essentially takes the audit committee out of policing the council.

The amount of dollars in each council members travel budget also was slightly increased. For council they are now allotted $2,750. Mayor Bill Saffo now has $3,500 at his disposal.

If a member of the council does not use some of their travel funds those dollars go back into the city's general fund.

Hurricane Irene cleanup was also addressed at the meeting. The city will apply for $741,000 in FEMA money.

If approved by FEMA the government will pay for 75 percent of the cost with the state covering the other 25 percent.

Crews have been picking up debris from the storm for the past 20 days and anticipate that the rest of the city should be debris free by the weekend.

Mayor Bill Saffo says he hopes to hear back from FEMA by the end of the month.

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