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Little Rock extends deadline for residential tornado debris pickup to June 25

June 25 the new deadline for collection; material must be sorted, near curb by Joseph Flaherty | June 8, 2023 at 3:44 a.m.
A Sunderland trucking contractor loads debris into a truck from a tornado-damaged house being torn down on Shackleford Road in the Walnut Ridge neighborhood on Wednesday, June 7, 2023, in Little Rock. The city of Little Rock has extended the deadline for debris pickup to June 25. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Thomas Metthe)

The city of Little Rock is extending a deadline for residents to place debris from the March 31 tornado at the curb for pickup by a contractor, Mayor Frank Scott Jr. said at a City Hall press conference Wednesday morning.

The new deadline will be June 25, Scott said. The original deadline announced last month was June 11.

Little Rock selected Galveston, Texas-based DRC Emergency Services to handle residential debris collection following the tornado.

The window of time for 100% reimbursement of the city's disaster-related costs by the Federal Emergency Management Agency ended May 13, Scott recalled. Costs after that date will be reimbursed at a rate of 75%, he said.

Scott on Wednesday referred to an earlier projection that the city will need to spend some $10 million on the debris collection, but was unable to give an updated cost estimate in light of the new deadline.

The mayor initially disclosed the fact that the deadline would be extended during a meeting of the city's Board of Directors the night before, though he did not have an exact date to announce at the time.

Following Scott's remarks at the meeting Tuesday, City Director Capi Peck of Ward 4 said she had been "begging for this."

There was still work left to do, she said. "We've made great headway but I've been approached by people in some of the hard-hit areas and it's just not time yet," Peck said.

Debris must be placed within 10 feet of the curb with materials separated by type (tree and yard waste, construction debris, household waste and tires) in order for crews to be able to collect it.

Scott also announced during the news conference Wednesday that United Way has been selected as the vendor that will help the city distribute grants to tornado-affected residents from a city charitable fund.

He said officials were working through the final negotiations.

United Way's administrative expenses will be paid out of the city's general revenue, not the pool of donations, Scott said. He suggested the expenses likely would not exceed $50,000.

At a tornado-recovery briefing last month, Scott said approximately $510,000 in donations had been collected; $310,000 will be given to affected residents and the remaining $200,000 will be distributed to organizations, he said.

At the time, the city released a list of eight organizations expected to receive funding, including United Way, which was anticipated to receive $25,000.

Print Headline: LR extends debris collection deadline


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