The Dothan City Commission has a debris removal contract that is decided on and put into place before a disaster happens. At Tuesday’s city commission meeting, they decided to enter into a contract with Ceres Environmental Services in the event a disaster were to occur.
“You don’t want to wait until the last minute when it happens, and then not be prepared, and/or have to be subjected to pricing that might not be as good for our citizens and for the city itself,” Mayor Mark Saliba said. “So, you work out these contracts ahead of time before the disaster actually occurs.”
The amount for the contract is $2,625,841. However, the city will not have to spend that money unless a disaster occurs, and it gives city government the ability to ask:
“Can we do these services ourselves in house for less and maybe know how we’re doing with our handling of the job versus hiring the company that we have signed a contract with,” Saliba said. “It gives us the option to be able to do either or and in the case of Hurricane Michael we chose a lot of that to do ourselves.”
Dothan’s public works director said having this contact puts the city in a safe situation if a storm came through.
“Cities have had an event and gone in and started doing what they wanted to do to clean up,” Director Charles Metzger said. “Then found because they didn’t follow certain guidelines they were refused FEMA reimbursement. That’s the thing we don’t want to happen to us here, so that’s why we enter into these contracts.”
Metzger said that the contracts are at a set price that way a city doesn’t get overcharged the way they could without a contract.