Spanish Fort and Daphne city councils approved measures Monday, Sept. 21, to have Crowder Gulf begin work to remove debris. The company is under contract to remove material after a natural disaster.
Daphne Mayor Dane Haygood said the estimate of damage to city property was $3.3 million with most of that cost being debris clearance on public property. He said Crowder Gulf began picking up material on Sept. 21.
Under federal disaster guidelines, the U.S. government would pay 75 percent of the costs of debris removal.
“They estimate that that’s going to be approximately 200,000 cubic yards. Given a truck volume of 80 trucks per day it would take approximately 20 continuous days to make one pass through the city,” Haygood said.
He said that because debris is still being cleaned up and placed at the curb, the cleanup process will take longer. The mayor said he hoped the work can be done in two months, but Federal Emergency Management Agency guidelines allow up to four months before cities have to ask for funding extensions.
Spanish Fort Mayor Mike McMillan said debris pickups would begin later that week. Unlike past years, the company will collect debris and take the materials to a processing area. The debris will be ground before being taken to the county landfill.
Spanish Fort City Attorney David Conner said the grinding will reduce to the volume of the materials to about 10 percent of its previous amount, cutting the space taken up at the landfill and the number of truck trips needed to haul the debris.
“We’ve been told that because of the volume and the number of trucks that are involved that that will drastically slow down the production of the crews and could conceivably cause problems with the volume at the landfill as well,” Conner said.
Haygood said using the contractor will also allow Daphne workers to continue collecting garbage.
“We did pause garbage at the end of last week to focus on clearing roads and we have done a really great job both with trucks out yesterday as well as today, they got through most of the routes for Monday and part of the day on Tuesday,” Haygood said.
He said city crews still have more trash to collect than usual.
“Hopefully, conditions will accommodate, but there’s a large amount of trash that’s curbside and so we’re having to make an abnormally large number of calls for each subdivision,” Haygood said.
City officials said crews are working to meet the increased demand and asked residents to be patient about services. Spanish Fort City Councilman Curt Smith said residents who are new to the area have not experienced the effects of a major hurricane before.
“They don’t have any perspective,” Smith said. “A lot of these folks have just recently moved here and they haven’t lived through Frederic like I did or Ivan.”