Reported by Theresa Schmidt
The deadline approaches for when people must apply for federal help for demolition or debris removal from private property. Some parish officials believe many eligible have yet to come forward.
There are those who qualify for federal help with demolition and debris removal because their situation poses a threat to public health and safety. But to get the work done they must apply and grant right of entry to privately owned land and that's done at the Calcasieu Government Building as Director of Emergency Preparedness Dick Gremillion explains.
"We're going to have to have a cutoff date of when the applications can be taken, that would be April 15th," Gremillion said. "So, there's about two weeks left, there's plenty of time for people to come in. We've had about 130 people come in so far but we know there are others out there who have not come in and signed up yet. This is strictly for removing dangerous structures that have had damage due to the hurricane or removing dangerous debris that's a result of the hurricane."
It's important to apply by April 15th or you could have to pay yourself or the parish could have the work done and put a lien on your property.
"We have a list of almost 200 properties that have been condemned already by the planning department," Gremillion said. "We need those people to come in but there are others as well we may not have gotten in those 200 so we need them to come forward."
FEMA reviews requests and decides those that qualify, while the Corps of Engineers works to get the job done with its contractors. Gremillion says people need to bring certain records to move through the process.
"What they need to bring with them is proof of ownership of the property. If there are multiple owners, they would need to bring those owners with them; a photo id and proof of insurance if you have insurance."
Owners are encouraged to sign up for the removal process. A list of structures being considered for demolition can be found on the Police Jury web site.