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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It’s been three days since Hurricane Irene, but debris still litters many New Hanover County yards. County leaders are waiting to see if FEMA will pick up the bill for the clean-up, but for now, one commissioner says it’s not the county’s responsibility and he doesn’t want to pay for it.

Large piles of debris are a common sight in New Hanover County since Irene passed over the weekend, and as the county decides how they’re going to pay for the clean-up many concerned citizens are taking their complaints to the web.

Their e-mails all seem to say the same thing: New Hanover County residents want anything left behind by irene gone and quick.

New Hanover County Commissioner Jason Thompson says the answer is simple: you get what you pay for.

“Most of them are saying, ‘The city’s picking up debris. Why don’t you do it in the county?’ Well, it’s very simple. They city charges and budgets for this service, because yardside clean-up is part of their core responsibility. The county does not, because it’s not what we do on a daily basis. We tried to address this, and we heard loud and clear from the community: ‘Stay out of our yards. We’ll contract our own trash clean up.’ And now all of a sudden that it costs them, they don’t wanna do it.”

Thompson says he does not think Irene caused enough damage in the county for New Hanover to get FEMA funding. He says that means individuals must pick up the bill.

Thompson says the county could pay nearly $500,000 for the clean-up, but he thinks it’s a waste.

“Well, the county could decide to spend the money and do it, but the citizens would ultimately have to pay for that,” Thompson said. “And we’ve had a commission that doesn’t have the will, in my opinion, they like to spend money and provide serves, but they don’t like to pay for it. Well, at some point, we have to pay for what we provide.”

For now, Thompson says the citizens of New Hanover County are getting just what they pay for with their taxes. Nothing more, nothing less.

Yesterday the county told resident they could call their trash hauler to make arrangements for debris pick up, or they may choose from one of four private companies accepting yard debris at a fee. One of those companies was Diversified Biomass, which is owned by Thompson.


Comment on this Story

  • Guest757

    If Mr. Thompson says “we get what we pay for” I guess the people in New Hanover County have forgotten about the County spending for the Gravely… We paid for that and received NOTHING in return…Did we Mr. Thompson?? So how dare he say we get what we pay for…

  • msmaureen

    Dear County and board members
    Just pick up the debris ….stop passing the buck who pays for what. Try doing something really clever, like chipping, mulching it, then using it around town to do something worth while..instead of all this BURNING.

  • Simple

    Here a simple question nobody has asked, What did the county do during the last storms that came through here?

  • Guest

    Hell would have to freeze over before I utilized Jason Thompson’s business. Thankfully he isn’t the only option.

  • Guest

    Fine Jason, tell county engineering to stay out of our neighborhood too.

    You will not be re elected.

  • I am so damn tired of seeing this idiot Jason Thompson get on here and talk of not having it both ways and all this nonsense. Firat off the trash proposal for the county had nothing to do with debris removal. Their proposal was to use on a couple companies to supply the trash service, that would have eliminated other haulers and jobs. We would have paid for the service anyway just as we pay our trash collectors now. Never in the past, as many storms as we have gotten, have we had such a problem with debris removal. I guess it just must be the elected group we have now, that is just bad. At least we dont have to re-elect. People must understand that the economy sucks, and people are laid off. There are lots of people that cannot afford to pay to have debris removed. Not all of us have had it as nice as Ol J.T. and had someone else to stroke our checks for a business.

  • Carol Kramer

    In a town I once lived in, we had worked out a good scheme. We’d haul our yard debris to an isolated area in the corner of our county park. The county would put all the debris through a wood chipper and make big piles. Any town resident could come and get mulch for free, taking from the oldest piles first.

  • Guest432

    I want tv 3 to find out if the county has a contract with Diversified Biomass. If so, how can he legally own a company and have a contract with the county. Most government agencies use low bids. If Diversified is contracted with the county then, Jason saw the other bids and put his bid in to be equal to theirs. Please check on this.

  • Guest6979

    I live in the middle of the city and I just got home from work to see the pile of limbs and trash cans full of leaves and pine straw in the same place that I left them on Sunday when I cleaned my yard. Not to mention half of my recycling is still in the bin. I was lucky and had less debris then a normal fall yard cleaning and I expected to get the service I over pay for from CFPOS (not a typo). We were not hit hard so people with the county and city should stop their complaining money get off their tails and do their job.

  • taxpayeriam

    Does Diversified Biomass have a contract with the county or city.Did the County Commissioner that owns the company that did air quality study have a contract with the county or city.Did the County Commissioner that is a realtor have any thing to do with the land that has been purchased by the county.Why do we not have a place that we can deposit our debris it seems we have county landfill our were we just being told R3 was nothing to just a lie,and are we not paying thousands
    of dollars a month to run something or is the county taxpayers paying for the city to dump there trash.R3 CFPUA WASTETECH LAND county taxpayers money for all this things and no place to put debris from the hurricane.Is CFPUA UNDER THE NORTH CAROLINA UTILITY AUTHORITY THAT REQUIRES APPROVAL FROM THE STATE TO RAISE FEES OR DOES THE New Hanover County Commissioners have to vote on a increase.Or did we just give what the taxpayers paid for to a private company.

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