The delay in starting Meridian's cleanup has been due to requirements by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to Mayor John Robert Smith.
"If you follow those requirements, then you would be reimbursed, or will be reimbursed 75 percent from FEMA and 12.5 percent from MEMA, which means the city is out of pocket for that. Further cleanup has been reduced to about 12.5 percent," Smith told the city council Tuesday.
Smith said that's why the city chose to take bids first. The work would begin once a low bidder is accepted.
"Mr. Odell Hopkins (Waste Management liaison) has set up the city into four different quadrants, basically northeast, northwest, southeast, southwest," added chief administrative officer Ken Storms. "In the cleanup we have asked all these contractors to develop their bids on starting these cleanups in each of the four quadrants, not one at a time, not starting in one section of the city, but starting at all four sections of the city so that everybody can get the benefit of the cleanup in the most rapid manner."
Only one hauler will be selected, but he will have the option of sub contracting to others.
Meridian and Lauderdale County have a disaster relief hotline for elderly and disabled residents who need help clearing debris to the roadside.
Call 484-6899 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. through Friday, Oct. 8. Volunteers who would like to offer assistance may find out how by calling the same number.