Supervisors

Supervisors Johnny Burnett, left, and Larry Dykes look on as Board of Supervisors Human Resources Director Chasity Gray and Brooks Wallace of Debris Tech get ready to open bids for debris removal on Monday. (Photo by Mark Thornton)

 

Committee will announce contractor Wednesday

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The bids from companies that want to remove storm debris from Jones County were piled up on a table in the Board of Supervisors’ meeting room on Monday morning.

More than a dozen companies submitted proposals for the job to dispose of the debris that was caused by massive tornadoes that struck on the evening of Easter.

A five-man committee will announce the winning contractor at 2 p.m. on Wednesday. Supervisors Phil Dickerson and David Scruggs, Jones County Emergency Management Agency Director Paul Sheffield, Chief Financial Officer Charles Miller and local businessman Larry Loftin will make the decision about which bid is best, Supervisor Johnny Burnett said. Picayune-based DebrisTech is serving as monitor and its founder, Brooks Wallace, will work in an advisory role for the committee.

Bids were turned in by 14 companies — LC&B (Brookhaven/Moselle), DRC Emergency Services (Metairie, La.), Pickering Inc. (Collins), Spenzr (Fort Payne, Ala.), Floore Independent Contractors (Moss Point), Looks Great Services (Columbia), MO Equipment (Brewton, Ala.), Dunn Roadbuilders (Laurel), Ceres Environmental (Houma, La.), Custom Tree Care (Topeka, Kan.), TFR Enterprises (Leander, Texas), Graham County Land Co. (Robinsonville, N.C.), KDF Enterprises (Springville, Ala.) and another company, B&B, whose bid was not accepted because it arrived without a seal and a stamp and was submitted at 10:03 a.m., three minutes after the deadline.

Representatives of some of the companies were present for the bid opening. The bid amounts were not announced. The contractor will be in charge of finding a site or sites to burn and dump the debris. Those sites have to be approved by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.

“It’s wonderful to see so many submit bids,” Burnett said. “I know a lot of people are out of work.”

Debris pickup is expected to begin 48-72 hours after the site is approved. The Mississippi Department of Transportation will pick up debris along state roadways, several of which have damage from the F4 tornadoes that hit a month ago today (Tuesday). Large piles of debris line Highways 28, 29, 84 and 533. 

The tornadoes struck more than 350 homes and businesses in Jones County and the area was declared a federal disaster. Because of that, local funds spent on the response will be eligible for reimbursement and individuals are also eligible for assistance.

Jones, Covington and Jefferson Davis counties were in the original disaster declaration, but Jasper was added on Friday. The Moss Community, which was among the hardest hit areas in the path of the 2.5-mile twister, is just across the Jones County line in Jasper County. 

“We got added for individual assistance,” said Mike Lucas, director of the Jasper County EMA, adding that he’s “hoping to hear this week about public assistance.”

FEMA has been encouraging storm victims to register for assistance at DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362 or 1-800-462-7285 (TTY) from 6 a.m.-9 p.m. daily.

Lucas said the federal agency will have a site set up at his office (37 West 8th Ave., Bay Springs) starting today (Tuesday).

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