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County to seek financial relief for storm damage

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Tipton County, as well as local municipalities and power companies, should be getting some financial assistance soon to offset costs incurred during the ice storm that hit the area March 2-4. 

Tommy Dunavant, a county commissioner and director of the Covington-Tipton County Emergency Management Agency, revealed those details during a meeting of the Tipton County Legislature Monday night. 

Dunavant met with area officials for a day and a half last week and the group came up with the financial damage: $434,000 for utilities and municipalities and $1.9 million for the county. 

Gov. Bill Haslam announced on Friday that eight counties, including Tipton County, will receive federal assistance through presidential disaster declaration. 

“Local governments, volunteer organizations and electrical cooperatives responded to the needs of the communities when it was needed,” Haslam said. “The assistance will relieve some of the financial costs to these counties as they recover from this winter emergency.”

“That's a good thing for us to help these agencies that had losses,” Dunavant said. 

Federal Emergency Management Association officials will have to verify the figures and are expected to be in town to do so soon, Dunavant said. 

The county, municipalities and power companies will receive 75 percent of the final figures. 

Dunavant also said he is keeping figures for financial losses incurred during another ice storm that hit the area in February. 

“We could get some grant money for that down the road,” he said. 

Also during the meeting, the commissioners voted to instruct the Tipton County Landfill to stop receiving storm debris for free, something the landfill had been doing for over two months. 

In other matters:

• County Executive Jeff Huffman said the county has nearly collected all property tax dollars for 2013. 

“It's very unusual to have that now,” Huffman said. “It's been much faster and much earlier.”

The county excpected to collect $21,626,440. So far, $21,528,029 has been collected. 

• The commissioners voted to accept a contract with TCPC. The company will provide 40 new computers to the Justice Complex for $759 each. 

• Finance committee chairman Quincy Barlow said 2014-15 budget hearings will begin May 13. 

• Huffman announced that National Day of Prayer will be celebrated May 1 at noon on the north side of the Covington Square. 

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