Berryville receiving 100 percent of requested funds for ice storm clean-up

Friday, July 24, 2009

BERRYVILLE -- The City of Berryville received 100 percent of what it requested for ice storm cleanup from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

All it awaits now is reimbursement from the state, which is expected to follow shortly.

The news was well received when the Berryville City Council met Tuesday night.

Alderman Cindy George expressed her "joy," and complimented all who worked so diligently to get the clean up job done, and provide the meticulous documentation, "to the Nth degree," that resulted in maximum reimbursement.

"I appreciate Jay (Lee), the entire office staff, public works, the mayor and everyone," she said.

Jay Lee, the city's administrative assistant, said 100 percent of what was documented was allowed.

That resulted in a 75 percent FEMA reimbursement of $485,323. The state's share, at 12.5 percent, is $80,887, and the city's share is the same, at $80,887.

The money received from FEMA and the state will go back in to city coffers to replace what was paid out.

The only damage that wasn't covered by state and federal agencies, Lee said, was damage to a generator, computer, and flow meter at the wastewater treatment plant that occurred when the ice storm caused power surges and outages.

He said a claim has been made to the city's insurance carrier, and FEMA and the state have approved paying a share of the $1,000 deductible.

In other business, the council was reminded that the state highway department has scheduled a public involvement meeting for its U.S. Hwy. 62 widening project which will affect the roadway from the Outpost eastward to the Exxon station. That meeting is set for 4 to 7 p.m. next Thursday at Towering Oaks Church.

Lee said he had spoken to Mayor Tim McKinney about the matter during a recent jail visit.

"Tim's main concern is to get a stoplight at Walmart out of it," Lee reported.

McKinney has long been in favor of a traffic light in front of Walmart, where Hwy. 62 Spur intersects the main highway by Carroll Electric.

Lee said the mayor urges all citizens to speak up about the traffic light when they attend the meeting.

Alderman Joel Gibson, who has been serving as acting mayor in Mc­-Kinney's absence, also urged attendance at the "open house" highway meeting.

Several parade requests were approved. They included the Fair Parade, set for 11 a.m., Saturday Aug. 29, traveling its traditional route on an untraditional day, and the Christmas Parade, set for Saturday, Dec. 5 at 6 p.m., using the same route as last year with the K-5 school campus serving as a staging area.

Several other requests from Berryville Chamber of Commerce Director Ginger Oaks were approved. She asked for the use of Saunders Heights for a live nativity scene to be staged Friday and Saturday evenings prior to Christmas, if she can get churches to participate, and the use of the public square for Christmas in the Ozarks, which is to coincide with the nativity scene.

One piece of "old business" was tabled. It was a review and discussion regarding a credit card system for certain expenditures.

Alderman George said she didn't want to approve it without reviewing a policy first, which hadn't been drafted. Gibson said he wanted to wait until McKinney returned.

The next meeting of the Berryville City Council is set for 6 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 4 at Berryville City Hall.

McKinney is scheduled to return to his mayoral duties after his Carroll and Washington county jail sentences are fulfilled. According to jail officials, his release date is set for Aug. 19.

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