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Commission addresses emergency cleanups

When natural disasters like the tornadoes and heavy winds that swept through Dallas County in April hit, the cleanup effort can be costly and time-consuming.

Monday, the Dallas County Commission voted unanimously to take a step toward making this process move faster by approving action to have a company in place to take care of these issues before disaster strikes.

County engineer Coosa Jones said the county must take bids to put such a service in place. Securing a cleanup crew beforehand, Jones said, will make the process go much faster.

“They would come in and subcontract with different contractors to clean stuff up, but the county would have to take bids,” he said. “Basically, what you are doing is the county is putting a contract in place to handle disaster events prior to having to scuffle around and do it afterward.”

The contract, Probate Judge Kim Ballard said, would only apply in the event of a disaster.

“It’s a stand-by contract that’s only used in the event of a natural disaster, and, of course, we have had some,” he said.

Money used to pay for the service, Ballard said, would come from FEMA grants. In some cases, he said there could be a 20 to 25 percent match.

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