Trigg County Judge Executive Stan Humphries said he did not yet know how much repairs to the infrastructure would ultimately cost the county, and there was no way to predict the cost. One expense, a $22,000 wood chipper to clear branches, was highlighted at a Monday, Feb. 2, Trigg County Fiscal Court meeting.
Humphries also told the Cadiz Record he hopes FEMA reimburses the money that has been spent thus far, but that the costs would be calculated after more work is done to bring back vital services to Trigg County residents.
“I’ve made some decisions this past week that are costly,” Humphries said. “Our budget was not prepared for the costs.”
At a Cadiz Finance Committee meeting that was held on the afternoon of Friday, Jan. 30, Cadiz Mayor Lyn Bailey said that the city would probably have to spend moneys that would have been matching funds for a $49,000 development grant to clear damage in the city.
“We’re going to have to use what surplus funds we’ve got right now,” Bailey said. “We’re looking at hiring a cleanup crew to come in here, and that’s going to cost us at least $8,000,” Bailey said.
To clear the damage to the cemetery alone will probably cost at least $10,000, Bailey said, adding that the cost of the cleanup crew and the cemetery cleanup don’t include the costs associated with city workers on cleanup duty. Bailey said that while the cost of cleaning up will be substantial, the city should be able to handle it.
City Council Member Frankie Phillips said FEMA would reimburse the city and other local government agencies 100 percent for the first seven days of cleanup, and 75 percent after that.
According to Bailey, the grant money will be available to Cadiz until September 2010, so there should still be time to take advantage of it after the ice storm damage is repaired.
Brent Gilkey, manager of member services for Pennyrile Rural Electric, estimated that it will probably cost the electric company $7 million to repair the damage caused throughout its service area, which includes Trigg County and several others.
That cost includes repairing or replacing power lines and utility poles. Of the 95,000 utility poles in the Pennyrile service area, 700 have been or will be replaced, with 300 – 400 of those in Trigg County alone, said Gilkey.
Terry Goins of the Lake Barkley Water District didn’t have a dollar amount for how much the ice storm has cost the water district at press time. However, between overtime for water district workers, fuel to power the diesel generators and revenue not made by selling water to other districts due to the boil advisory, he said it would be a “large amount.”
Both Trigg County Sheriff Randy Clark and Cadiz Police Chief Hollis Alexander said at an emergency operations meeting on Friday, Jan. 30, that crime in the county and city was not out of the ordinary during the ice storm.
In terms of human cost, one person, 53-year-old Curtis Wharton died in his Roaring Spring home on the morning of Friday, Jan. 30, likely from smoke inhalation as his home was completely destroyed (See the separate story in this week’s paper).
However, there were no other deaths in the county as a result of the storm, and there were very few accidents on the road, said Clark. However, sheriff’s deputies did work more overtime than usual both conducting welfare checks on people whose phones were out and providing support to those repairing the damage, Clark added.