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South Mississippi Living 4/07

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

FEMA refuses to pay Miss. county almost $12 M for Katrina work

Associated Press - September 11, 2007 6:24 PM ET

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The federal government is refusing to reimburse Mississippi's most populous coastal county nearly $12 million for removing debris from Hurricane Katrina.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is citing concerns about the quality and cost of the work in Harrison County -- home to Biloxi and Gulfport.

According to a letter obtained today (Tuesday) by The Associated Press, FEMA concluded that the county paid unreasonably high costs for clearing storm-damaged trees and didn't adequately document the work.

FEMA's refusal to pay for about for the debris removal is the result of an audit questioning the rates that Harrison County paid contractors for the work. FEMA also found discrepancies in bills that contractors submitted for Katrina debris removal.

Harrison County is appealing FEMA's refusal to pay for removing about $9 million worth of debris on public rights of way and nearly $3 million on private property.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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