Newnan receives public assistance reimbursement from GEMA

Joe Adgie / The Newnan Times-Herald

Newnan City Manager Cleatus Phillips accepts a check worth over $2.6 million from Kimberly Walker, GEMA grant specialist for public assistance on Wednesday. The check covers costs incurred from cleaning up storm debris in the immediate aftermath of the EF-4 tornado that struck Newnan last March.

Newnan received a check for over $2.6 million on Wednesday to reimburse public assistance costs incurred immediately after last year’s tornado.

City officials received the check from GEMA grant specialist Kimberly Walker on Wednesday. The check, to be exact, is worth $2,659,913.76. A second check, worth $750, was also provided after the federal government increased the reimbursement percentage from 75 percent to 90 percent.

In other words, the federal government covers 90 percent of the charges and reimburses those funds back to the city of Newnan. The state covers an additional five percent, while the city of Newnan is on the hook for the last five percent, said Newnan City Manager Cleatus Phillips.

Many of these funds were spent on public debris and vegetation removal, and were used to cover the cost of large trucks, referred to as “double-barreled” trucks by city officials, moving through the city to clean up the debris from the EF- 4 tornado that struck Newnan last March.

“This is for the 30 day period after the initial storm event,” said Ray Norton, Newnan public works director.

In total, the city has been reimbursed $6,013,123, and there is currently $725,000 under review for future reimbursement, Phillips said in an email on Wednesday.

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