As debris piles shrink, cost for removal grows

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Since Hurricane Michael, more than one million cubic yards of debris has been picked up in Lynn Haven.

However, with just a month and a half of invoices, the cost for the removal is already more than $4 million, which leads some city leaders to reconsider how long they can keep hauling debris.

Michael White, the City Manager for Lynn Haven said, "As we continue to pick up, and we will continue to pick up for quite a while, the thought process is, there is going to be an end, one day. What that end day is right now is still undetermined."

Not wanting to incur debt, Lynn Haven has a few ideas to get the community involved in a mass clean-up effort after the haulers leave.

White continued, "I could see a lot of different things, I could see us reaching out to businesses. A lot of businesses want to give back to the communities they're located in, especially large corporate. In the past, we've had people plant trees for us or they just want their employees to get out and give back to the community so this could be a way we could utilize some of that."

Lynn Haven officials say they'll discuss an end date for debris hauling in the coming weeks.

A city that isn't worrying about debris hauling costs, for the time being, is Callaway.

Callaway Mayor Pamn Henderson said, "Our contractor has been really good working with us, allowing us to get our cash flow plan in place."

Callaway has picked up around 560,000 cubic yards of debris since the storm.

Mayor Pamn Henderson says the city has remained financially stable over the past few years, and the debris haulers aren't going anywhere despite already paying more than four million dollars themselves on debris removal.

Henderson said, "I know I've had some people come to me concerned thinking, 'Oh, you have to have everything pushed out by December 31st in order to get it picked up.' That is not the case. There is not a deadline that has been set."