Corpus Christi expects storm-debris pickup to cost $9 million - KRISTV.com | Continuous News Coverage | Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi expects storm-debris pickup to cost $9 million

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Solid Waste Operations says the city expects to spend $9 million dollars on debris removal caused by Harvey. It's costly, but it's only an estimate because crews are still working.

The last section of the city that needs cleaned up is Area 10, which includes Calallen. Beginning Monday, crews will be in Area 10 to pick up the leftover debris.

Lawrence Mikolajczyk, director of Solid Waste Operations, says Harvey's impact on the amount of debris, was big.

"We've experienced some pretty large bills in collecting brush in the past," Mikolajczyk said. "But we've never been involved in a major event like this."

Mikolajczyk said debris removal is a big workload. So far, crews have picked up just over 600,000 cubic yards. During the peak, Solid Waste Operations said they had 15 extra trucks out on pick-ups. Crews also worked seven days a week. All of that, of course, comes with a cost estimated around nine million dollars.

"It's very expensive to bring in the number of pieces of equipment that is required, to house the operators that come into town," Mikolajczyk said.

However the city, is getting that money paid back. FEMA has reimbursed just over $4 million, while the state of Texas has paid more than $502,000. Based on the estimated $9 million in total costs, the city is still owed roughly $4.4 million. 

The final receipts have yet to be turned in by Tetra Tec, a storm debris contractor. That will happen as the crews finish cleaning up.

"Now that Tetra Tec is wrapping up all the final numbers, then we'll have a more accounting of how much that's going to be," Mikolajczyk said.

Solid Waste Operations believe 100% of the money will be reimbursed. 

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