Debris Removal May Change Hands

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is considering replacing AshBritt Company with local contractors for debris removal in the state.

Corps spokesman Michael Logue says the change would affect all counties and municipalities affected by the Hurricane Katrina that contracted with the corps for debris removal.

Matt Gierden, project manager for AshBritt in Forrest County, said the firm is being involuntarily removed and will file a protest.

Logue says the move would benefit locally owned or disadvantaged businesses. He says the government has already paid AshBritt the amount of money agreed upon in its contract when it was selected after the Aug. 29, 2005, hurricane.

The federal government is fully reimbursing local governments for debris removal through June 30.