County FEMA check finally in the mail

Published 10:30 pm Monday, August 9, 2010

The Escambia County Commission has been watching the mailbox for a check from FEMA for more than seven months. Bill Bridges, county engineer, said he received word last week that the check is finally in the mail.

“We got word that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has finally approved the $5 billion for the disaster relief fund,” Bridges told commissioners Monday. “That means that all of those projects we have had on hold since December can finally move forward.”

Bridges said projects that include three bridges in the county will be included in a list of projects that will be paid for through the approval of the FEMA funding.

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“We have had three bridges that we needed to work on but had to wait for this final approval,” Bridges said. “Those bridges are on Old Foshee Road, Smith Dairy Road and Cowpen Creek Road. This approval of FEMA funds will finally get us to the point that we can complete those projects.”

The bridges on the list of county projects were damaged in December 2009 when a flash flood caused millions of dollars worth of damage throughout the county, Bridges said.

“We know the money is approved and will get to us for these projects,” Bridges said. “I have been told it will take two to three weeks to get to the State of Alabama and then another three to four weeks to get to us. I’m hoping we will see those funds by the end of September.” Bridges said the projects are ones the county is anxious to complete.

“We want to get these projects cleared up as quickly as possible,” Bridges said. “We’ve been waiting on this funding before we could move on the repairs at any of the locations. We are waiting on approval on three other projects and hope to get FEMA approval on those soon.”

In other business, the commission:

• Accepted Tullis Manor Subdivision proposal. Bridges said there had been a verbal approval of the subdivision prior to his arrival in his current position.

“This approval has been sitting in the probate office for several years,” Bridges said. “We just need to make that final approval today.”

• Approved an off-premises wine and beer application to Jet Pep on Hwy. 113.

County Commission Chairman David Stokes said the application was simply a transfer of an existing application at the business.

“The business was formerly operated at Norwood Chevron in that location,” Stokes said. “This is just a change of business name and not actually a new establishment.”

• Approved the reappointment of Lawrence Weaver, Larry Padgett and Joey Shell to the E911 Board;

• Approved the appointment of Mavis Torrence to the Escambia County Library System Board;

• Signed a letter of support for the Employer Support of Guard and Reserve organization. Charlotte Boyle, a representative of the Escambia County ESG organization, was on hand to seek the signatures of the commission.

“This organization is very important to our Guard and Reserve personnel,” Boyle said. “We try to be a go between with guard and reserve men and women and employers if there are any disputes that arise when they come back from being in service.”