STAFF WRITER JARED FIELDS
Despite awarding a debris removal contract a month after the devastating Oct. 16 flood, Llano County officials expect debris to be gone by the new year at a fraction of the estimated cost.
County Judge Mary Cunningham said Dec. 13 that debris removal from Precincts 2 and 3 are complete with a small amount remaining in Precinct 4 and “about 15 percent more to do” in Precinct 1.
The cost for debris removal will be near $500,000, Cunningham said.
“Going in, we didn’t know,” Cunningham said of how much debris was in the county to be removed and how much it would cost. “I expected it to run at least $2 million, and was prepared for it to be more. Now, it looks not to get there at all.”
Commissioners discussed overtime hours that county employees have accrued while monitoring the cleanup and dealing with the flood. Seven employees have 224 hours of overtime, according to Cunningham.
“The employees have stepped right in,” she said. “I’m proud of the county.”
During the regular meeting Dec. 10, Llano County commissioners extended the local state of disaster declaration to Jan. 15, 2019.
The extension was passed by a unanimous 4-0 vote, just one day before the original declaration was set to expire.
The declaration was extended for potential federal reimbursement to cover expenses from the October flood.
Commissioners, Cunningham, and First Assistant County Attorney Matthew Rienstra all debated wording of the agenda item during discussion.
In the end, the original declaration was extended without amendments to Jan. 15, the day after the commissioners court’s next meeting, Jan. 14, when they again will discuss the declaration.
The commissioners court will not meet again in December.