Will mistakes Augusta made during ice storm cost the city?

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News 12 at 11 o'clock/ Sunday, June 22, 2014

Augusta, Ga (WRDW)------The ice storm only lasted a few days. The clean up took weeks and the price tag is now at more than $17 million.

"We spent a lot of money. we thought we were going to be reimbursed by FEMA and I'm concerned now," said Commissioner Marion Williams.

The city's reimbursement check for storm debris cleanup has been on hold.

"We're waiting for the decision to be made and we're waiting to hear some response back from FEMA," said Interim Administrator Tameka Allen.

Interim Administrator Tameka Allen last week when News 12 first started investigating the city's storm funding process.
here's what we uncovered.

FEMA officials state the city broke the rules in awarding the contract to Ashbritt a storm debris cleanup company for the second half of the contract. "I didn't think we ought to be doing that. I thought it ought to be a situation where we get a contractor to come in," said Commissioner Marion Williams.

The letter cites that Augusta didn't have a cost analysis with Ashbritt and didn't take steps to make sure minority and women owned businesses were involved in the cleanup.

Leidos was chosen to monitor the storm and FEMA found violations in the city's dealings with that company as well.

The federal government had some of the same concerns with how the city dealt with both companies.

"People don't want to talk about those issues, but you are talking about taxpayers money. You have to inspect what you expect. You have to be a good stewards of the public's money," said Commissioner Marion Williams.

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