Livingston Parish closer to recovery of debris funds
LIVINGSTON PARISH - A Board of Appeals has denied a motion by FEMA to dismiss Livingston Parish's request for arbitration in recovering over $59 million it spent in clean up after Hurricane Gustav.
"We received word today from our attorneys in Washington DC, and we are ecstatic," said Parish President Layton Ricks. "This denial of FEMA's motion to dismiss is big for the recovery of the $59 million. Our parish has cleared a major hurdle to obtain the funds for which the parish is ultimately responsible."
The case will now be heard by the Citizens Board of Contract Appeals. Ricks said since taking office he has been navigating through all of FEMA's red tape and delays to obtain the money Ricks feels is owed to Livingston Parish.
The parish is seeking recovery of $44,002,901 for removing debris from the waterways; $14,096,899 for removal of "leaners and hangers" trees which posed an immediate threat to lives, public health and safety; and $1,083,344 for direct administrative costs.
On April 3, 2013, Livingston Parish asked the Inspector General to review FEMA's decision regarding these applications.
In the CBCA's ruling they stated the Inspector General found that FEMA determinations related to eligibility and cost associated with the Parish's application involved a misapplication of rules and regulations.
The CBCA also denied FEMA's request for a 120-day stay.
"This really is great news for our parish," said Ricks. "I am looking forward to putting the debris issue behind us. I also want to thank the attorneys for their hard work to move this matter forward and I have full confidence they will see it through to fruition. I will continue to work hard for all the people of the parish who worked on the debris cleanup."