Gov. Scott: Debris removal stalemate must end

Orange County, as well as five other counties, complain contracts not fulfilled

By Mark Lehman - Reporter

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - As debris from Hurricane Irma continues to pile up in some Central Florida areas, Florida Gov. Rick Scott is calling for action from removal companies.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, officials in Orange County, as well as five other counties, have complained to the state about problems with contractors who refuse to haul away debris.

In a statement released Thursday, Scott highlighted concerns about price gouging.

“We will not tolerate any attempt by businesses to take advantage of our communities during their time of need, especially in the wake of a natural disaster like Hurricane Irma," Scott said.

Leaders in several municipalities in Orange County said the delay amounts to some debris companies not honoring their contracts.  Instead of hauling away waste in Central Florida, sub-contractors have opted for better paying contracts down south.

Find a list of debris drop off locations in Orange County here.

"There were cities in South Florida that were paying double the prices and so that's where all the sub-contractors are going," Apopka Mayor Joe Kilsheimer said.

The City of Apopka is currently in the process of procuring another contractor to remove storm debris, according to Kilsheimer.

While some counties wait for debris removal contracts to be honored honored, Scott has asked companies that are willing to help at a fair price to contact the Florida Department of Transportation here.

In the meantime, Attorney General Pam Bondi said her office is also looking into the complaints.
"I will work closely with the governor, cities and counties to ensure contracts are honored and communities restored. Regardless of whether something is unlawful, this is a morality issue impacting fellow Floridians in a time of need," Bondi said.

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