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Lincoln County Supervisors finally receive Hurricane Isaac funds

Lincoln County’s emergency management director walked into the Board of Supervisors’ boardroom Tuesday smiling.

Clifford Galey had good news to share.

More than four years after Lincoln County suffered damage from Hurricane Isaac, supervisors are getting reimbursed from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

It’s been a long time coming and supervisors on more than one occasion have asked why the delay.

At the September 2016 supervisors’ meeting, District 4 Supervisor Eddie Brown voiced his criticism of FEMA for the delay. Galey said it was a paperwork error. He said a representative from the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency had visited Lincoln County in the aftermath of the hurricane, which hit Mississippi Aug. 28, 2012, but did not correctly complete the initial damage reports, nor get them approved before leaving his job with MEMA. Galey promised then to find and fix the error.

In the November 2016 meeting, Galey announced that he had been successful, though it took him awhile to find and correct the lost information.

“I had to go through an old computer to find all of the old information to fix MEMA’s report,” he said then.

He said he was confident that the county would receive the funds it applied for, though he could not say when it would arrive. “I don’t know when it will come, but at least now I know it will come through,” Galey said in November.

Tuesday, Galey finally delivered the news supervisors had impatiently been waiting to hear.

The federal share of the Hurricane Isaac recovery money, 75 percent of the total applied for, has been received. That’s $50,595.

Galey received paperwork for the state portion Tuesday and he signed it and sent it back immediately.

He expects the county will receive the state funds from MEMA soon. “Should take a month, I hope,” he said.

In other business:

• County engineer Ryan Holmes said bridge inspections were completed and submitted and he wants to meet with supervisors to discuss the results.

• Holmes told supervisors that Gov. Phil Bryant’s recent additional statewide budget cuts will be a $24,120 hit to Lincoln County. To date, Holmes said, the state has rescinded $89,403.89.

To put that into perspective, Holmes noted that to overlay one mile of road costs approximately $80,000 to $90,000. Two miles of road can be resealed for $90,000 to $100,000. A concrete box culvert costs approximately $130,000, he said.

• Bids for Manufacturers Boulevard improvements and for the Lincoln Civic Center netting project will be opened Thursday, Jan. 26, at 10 a.m. Bids for Ability Works improvements will be opened Thursday, Feb. 16, at 10 a.m.

• Supervisors went into a 45-minute executive session to discuss an issue concerning economic development. No action was taken concerning the issue following the closed-door meeting.