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Gainesville, Hall seek big reimbursements for winter storm costs
Officials each ask for hundreds of thousands of dollars from FEMA
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Gainesville and Hall County are each pursuing hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal reimbursements for costs related to an ice storm in mid-February, which toppled trees, closed schools and knocked out power to thousands of residents.

Both governments hope to receive allocations from the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the coming weeks.

President Barack Obama approved the aid assistance in April for counties in Northeast Georgia hardest hit by the storm, which clogged major roadways and residential streets with tree limbs, roof shingles and other debris.

Gainesville is asking for about $363,000 in funding to replenish the budgets of the departments of water resources, public works, fire, and parks and recreation for storm clean-up costs, public safety operations and other maintenance.

The city has 140 miles of streets to maintain, and debris removal crews worked 10 hours a day, six days a week in the aftermath of the storm.

It is unclear how much the city will be reimbursed, but officials plan to enter an agreement with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency next week to facilitate the transfer of requested funds.

Meanwhile, Hall County has requested a reimbursement of about $831,000, which covers most of its expenses.

Though the application for funds is being reviewed, county officials said they expect to hear an answer on their request within the next week or two.

Public Works Director Ken Rearden estimated about 30,000 cubic yards of debris were removed in the county’s jurisdiction, which includes more than 2,200 miles of roads. 

Clean-up expenses included additional payroll costs, supply purchases, fuel, and vehicle and equipment maintenance.

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