New Hanover County waits on FEMA to deal with debris issue

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Submitted: Tue, 08/30/2011 - 3:57am
Updated: Thu, 08/02/2012 - 4:58pm

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY)– As Hurricane Irene crashed through the Cape Fear region it left plenty of debris in it’s wake.

New Hanover County Commissioners say they are waiting on FEMA to see if the government will cover the cost for debris collection.

Commissioners also said that according to an Alabama debris pickup company that they work with, it would cost $400,000-500,000 for the county to clean all of the debris.

“Since we don’t have that guarantee from FEMA the county is not comfortable with going forth and coming up with the kind of money that would have to be spent in cleanup if we have to pay for it ourselves,” New Hanover County Commissioner Ted Davis said. “Quite frankly it’s not budgeted.”

Commissioners also said that they do not expect to receive the funds from FEMA. That means that residents that do not live in the city or other incorporated areas will have to discard of the debris on their own.


  • Guest 2 says:

    There is supposed to be an Emergency fund for these reasons. I guess that fund has been depleted. When will these people learn how to balance a budget and why should FEMA have to provide the emergency fund. This service should be provided by the county without the hurricane,. I am surprised it is not since Jason Thompson’s company on SunnyVale Drive will be the one to benefit from this service. Everybody get a burn permit and lets have a burn party this Saturday and when the county fills up with smoke they might rethink this situation or they will make another stupid decision to issue a burn ban and the debris will harvest mosquitos and other parasites.

  • Guest says:

    I feel lucky to live within the City of Wilmington.

    I would suggest that county residents load up their debris and take it to the County Administration offices on Government Center drive and deposit it in Mr. Shell’s parking space.

    This lack of critical thinking on the part of the county government mirrors the poor oversight we have seen exercised in its oversight of the ABC, CFPUA, etc, etc.

    Sadly, in New Hanover County the patients are running the asylum!

  • Guest says:

    I can’t believe all of the crying that is going on here. It is your yard waste and your responsibility to clean it up. It is also your responsibility to assist those in your neighborhood who (physically) can’t clean up their yard.

    The majority of our population has demanded less government spending. Once that demand affects you, the crying starts and everyone wants more from the government. Quite frankly, I do not see how it is the government’s responsibility to clean up my yard or discard the rubbish from my yard.

  • Guest says:

    I agree, let’s everyone burn, residents were doing it on Sunday after the storm. And you are right there should be an emergency fund for these storms. For gosh sakes we live on the coast where tropical storms and hurricanes hit. We should be prepared for these costs. It would be like residents not preparing for the hurricane with supplies.

  • Guest says:

    Great! Lots and lots of smoke filled air for us who already have breathing problems. Great idea!

  • Guest says:

    Waiting on FEMA?????? Come on guys, can’t YOU make a call? That is why we elected you, be a board of action not a board of followers. And as I suspected, the citizens of NHC are not waiting on YOU, drive around the county and you will see most folks have already piled/placed their debris by the roadside, they sure as ______ are not going to pick it back up and move it again. Everyone should go ahead and get it to the street, after tons and tons of it sit there into the fall the Commission will have to deal with it.

  • Guest says:

    Right! Let me know when you go out in this 90+ heat to clean up your neighbor’s debris (as well as your own), and I’ll call the news media to meet you. You’re a real saint.

    It’s the government’s responsibility because we live in a beach community which, HELLO, might see an occasional hurricane, we pay taxes, and they should budget for expenses such as this.

    City of Wilmington, Kure Beach, Carolina Beach, Wrightsville Beach, all of them care about their citizens enough to clean up even without budgeting for it. Why not the County? Because Commissioner Jason Thompson wants to make money from Diversified Biomass (his company).

    Take your blinders off!

  • Guest says:

    This sounds like an excellent idea! Best one I’ve heard yet, except all the debris wouldn’t fit in his tiny little parking space. How about filling up the whole parking lot so NONE of the County Commissioners could park there (how about adding a little extra on Jason Thompson’s parking space). THEN we could make a bonfire out of it. Bet THAT would get the point across!

  • Guest340 says:

    I think your comprehension might be lacking a little. I don’t think anybody is saying the city/county should clean their yard, the problem is how to dispose of the waste once it is gathered up. In a storm prone area, this should be a basic and expected service of the county and city.

  • Guest31 says:

    But they can spend millions for Airlie Gardens and other places but NHC Council do not want to help anybody but themselves.

  • Guest702 says:

    The problem is not that NHCo won’t do something, its that everyone wants something done for them right now and for free. Yes, I would go out and clean up my neighbors yard in 90+ degree heat because it is called “do unto others as you would have done to you”. This is what America is lacking. Instead of bellyaching over what you want, get off your lazy behinds and clean up your own yards.

  • Guest says:

    You’re a homeowner-take care of your home….Comes with the ownership. You people are acting like hurricane Katrina came blasting through here!!! It’s Ridiculious!!! Why not get that money and apply it to the NEW HANOVER COUNTY SUBSIDIZED CHILDCARE??!! This would actually get the low-income families out to work more instead of living off GOVERNMENT MONEY!!! That waiting list is over a YEAR LONG!!! Let’s do something here!!!

  • Guest says:

    I have no children. I do, however, have a yard full of storm debris. I can’t clean it up myself because I’m disabled. First things first.

    You probably don’t own a home, but you have kids and want help with paying for childcare. Instead of waiting for New Hanover County to subsidize your childcare, get out and get a second job and support your own kids. Why should I have to pay taxes for YOUR childcare? Doesn’t feel too good, now does it?

    See? We all have our own agendas, don’t we?

  • Guest says:

    The original poster is correct… We are responsible for our own mess.. if debris falls in our yard we should clean it up period… I do believe that once we stack it up on the side of the road that the city/county could come by and start hauling it off to the landfill. So it may take awhile so what… Problem is there are so many who are crying/slobbering expecting the county to come in and take the tree off your house etc.. that is not THEIR responsibility… it is your responsibility to pay for insurance to take care of this sort of thing.. and YES YOUR SHOULD HAVE INSURANCE because “HEY WE LIVE IN A HURRICANE PRONE AREA” …. remember that argument you just made? yeah….

    The original poster I have to agree with you completely!

    Also the guy who was talking about the heat and not helping out… If you don’t work in 90+ degree temp apparently you never had to work a hard days work in your LIFE. I carried a full battle rattle, helmet and all in the middle of Iraq and lived… I think the community can come together for ONE day and deal with the heat to help each other!

  • GuestLee says:

    Well said. Thanks for the clarification. I think a lot of people are misunderstanding the posts here.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    …you’d know that they already DO get subsidized child care.

    You’re just replacing what you consider whining with your own brand of whining.

  • Guest says:

    OK, you’re reading comprehension is really off here. We’re talking about debris removal, not the County CLEANING UP your yard. Your yard is private property, and they won’t go on private property. What we’re talking about is the county hauling it off, which you seem to agree with.

    Hey, you’re right. I never worked more than a few hours in 90+ weather in my whole life. I grew up without A/C as a child, and I made sure that the job I picked as an adult was in air conditioning. I’m now elderly, disabled, and unable to do ANY physical labor. I will have to pay someone to clean up my yard, but I shouldn’t have to pay someone to haul debris away.

  • Guest says:

    I think there is some confusion here. When people say they want the County to “clean up their yards”, they mean they want them to haul away the debris, not actually go on people’s property to clean up their yards.

    But, hey, if you need a yard to clean up, put your phone number here and I’ll call you. I can always use the help!

  • GuestLee says:

    You’re a mother – take care of your own kids….comes with the territory.

    If you choose to be a mother, you should make sure you have the money you need to support your kids BEFORE you have them. Don’t expect taxpayers and the county to do it for you.

  • Guest461 says:

    …and those taxes are way overvalued! Taxes come with ownership as well and services are deserved for those taxes. I don’t want anyone cleaning my yard, I just want them to pick up the piles left on the side of the road.

    Besides, take care of your OWN child! It comes with the ownership!!!

  • Bob P says:

    I want to attach pictures but if you are such a great person come to Quail Woods I would love the help.

  • Guest says:

    So if I am understanding everyone here, the yard debris that we brought to the edge of our property on Sunday, that we worked 9 hours hauling won’t be picked up if it is on my property? But if I put it on the street, off of my property then the county would have no choice but to come by and pick it up since it is blocking the roadway? Sounds like a plan to me. I will be going home this evening and working through the night to get the debris in the middle of the road.

  • Guest says:

    Commissioner Jason Thompson said he would probably vote against picking up the debris if FEMA does not reimburse the county. He said residents don’t pay taxes for that service.

    “They either want less government or more government,” he said. “You can’t pick and choose.”

    He does, however, recommend Diversified Biomass, a company he owns, that accepts yard debris for a fee. How convenient! Isn’t that a conflict of interest? Once a jerk, always a jerk!

  • Guest says:

    I agree, Thompson is a jerk, and we need to make our voices heard come election time. The time and money spent from their salaries that has been wasted could have paid for the debris pick up. He wants to vote against frivolous spending yet he is amongst other commissioners who are spending taxpayer money frivolously. Thompson would vote against the county paying for their debris because he has a vested interest in saying no, his company is one of the ones listed for debris removal. Gosh that would be like Barger being on the board of domestic violence.

  • Bawesome says:

    Something the people of New Hanover actually need for a change and they didn’t budget for it? Why am I not surprised.

  • Ilkan Ali says:

    From all the money the county makes through every effort it takes to Fine peole im sure they can come up with the money with the great profit they make from the people…City made at least 3,000 form in in pass two years in parking and im sure the list goes on…Stop Lying

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    They will refuse to pick up the debris, then use this example as justification to advance their proposed takeover of county trash hauling.

    Don’t fall for it! Gather it into a pile, get an online burning permit, and burn it in place, safely.

    Don’t accept tyranny!

  • Guest says:

    I would gather it into a pile if I could, but I can’t even walk from my bedroom to my kitchen without oxygen. I live on a fixed income and can’t afford to pay someone to haul it away. What are the sick and elderly supposed to do? Just the smoke from all the fires could put me into respiratory arrest.

    I helped pay for Katrina to get cleaned up. Why can’t I get some help when I need it?

  • Bob P says:

    Let me see we live on the coast. We have had hurricanes before now Mr.Davis on television states tha we did not budget for hurricane clean-up but wait it gets better you can take your debri to one of our good ole boys on the commission for 20-35 dollars a pick up load. What a bunch of BS let the handicap, elderly , and those on limited incomes make one of our commissioner a little richer. Sounds like a plan only commissioners in New Hanover County can come up with. I can not wait for the next election I promise I will be fighting for change. Its time to spread the wealth and taxes to tje people that pay them. WE sure do not get what we paid for in this county. I would love to sell my house to the county for what they apprasied it at I would leave tomorrow.

  • Guest says:

    Not budgeted? Quite frankly this has been the worst county commissioners board we have had in years. We live in a hurricane prone area and the county has made no effort to allow in the budget for clean-up? I don’t understand why our county landfill stopped taking yard debris. Of any type of material that would compost quickly and be cleaner it would be yard debris. I’m sorry but I’m just not into being forced to pay a company such as the one Thompson owns and others to take my yard debris, pay them to do so and them turn around and sell it for a profit. I think you idiots on the county board need to look into why we can’t dispose of yard waste like we use to at the county landfill before all these companies we have to pay now started up. Do something useful for a change that would benefit the actual county you where voted in to help. I know that none of you will ever get my vote again, you are horrible at what you have been voted in to do. It’s like watching a three ring circus with you people as the clowns. Oh as far as Thompson his name may not be on any of the deeds or tax records but he is still the head controller in that business. He is a big conflict of interest in my oppion.

  • Guest2020 says:

    Did you really have to go and insult clowns?

  • Guest says:

    I do understand that the county is cash-strapped, but I fail to understand why things like this aren’t budgeted for. This was the worst storm since Charley in 2004, they picked up our debris then….

  • Guest says:

    I’m pretty sure that the City of Wilmington, Kure Beach, Carolina Beach, and Wrightsville Beach didn’t budget for a hurricane either. But THEY seem to care about their residents.

    County Commissioners suck. Remember this when November comes around.

  • localresident says:

    The key difference between the municipalities’ handling of the debris pick-up and the county is that there is already public trash collection in place in those areas. Their solid waste departments already have the equipment to collect and dispose of debris. Since New Hanover county does not have county-wide garbage collection for the unincorporated areas, they have to contract to an outside hauler for the removal. In past storms FEMA has stepped in and paid for this removal contract. With Irene, while there may have been some individuals who had a large amount of debris on their property, overall the amount of damage and debris throughout the county is likely not going to be enough for FEMA to step in. If the county moves to county-wide garbage collection, debris pick-up will not be an issue in the future. They will have the equipment and the manpower to handle it.

  • taxpayeriam says:

    We can not come up with the money and no where we can deposit the waste,because we do not have a landfill? Then way where they going to pay R3 $500,000.00 that is 5 hundred thousand dollars a month if we do not have any place to deposit the debris.We have taxpayers money to fund WDI and buy more land for parks and pay to keep them up.Hope someone will look into the way New Hanover County Commissioners are using taxpayers money for what looks as favors for some people and groups.R3 and land for park,land for park in Castle Hayne just some deals.

  • Guest says:

    How true are your last two sentences! Fortunately, Jason Thompson (he says) will not run in the next election. Don’t you think we should throw a party?

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    Because Barfield and Thompson have a political agenda/business deal they want to ram down our throats.

  • Guest says:

    Agreed! ALMOST wish Thompson was running again so I could vote him OUT!!!

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