Wilmington City Council raises Florence recovery funding to nearly $25 million

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The Wilmington City Council approved more funding for the Hurricane Florence recovery effort, and assigned funding to various contractors.

WILMINGTON — The city council unanimously approved what is said to be the final funding appropriation for the Hurricane Florence recovery effort on Tuesday, bringing the total bill to just shy of $25 million.

In front of council Tuesday was another supplemental appropriation of $2,919,416 from the city’s general fund balance for the recovery efforts. This was in addition to the $22 million that has already been approved in recent weeks from the general fund balance and debt service fund.

In addition to the appropriation, council approved $5,066,180 for DRC Emergency Services, the contractor which has overseen the removal of debris across the city in the months after Florence. The new funding brings the total contract bill to no more than $18,266,180.

As of Tuesday, DRC had picked up more than 1.3 million cubic yards of storm debris and has nearly completed the second and final pass for debris collection, according to city spokeswoman Malissa Talbert. Construction/demolition debris pick up is expected to be completed by this week and all final pickups are expected to be completed before Christmas.

Finally, the council approved two identical funding resolutions of $426,618 to Witt/O’Brien’s, LLC and Landfall Strategies, LLC — both of which were for debris monitoring purposes.

Those new figures bring the contract totals for both companies to no more than $1,826,618 each.

In total, the final estimated cost for Florence recovery under the approved appropriations would be $24,919,416, which includes $2.3 million specifically earmarked for repairs to 48 buildings and $652,614 in employee bonuses for those who worked during the storm.

Up to 75 percent of the eligible recovery costs will be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) within two years. It can also get reimbursements from the state.

Reporter Hunter Ingram can be reached at 910-343-2327 or Hunter.Ingram@StarNewsOnline.com.