Decision on Bradley Co. debris cleanup ruffles local feathers - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Decision on Bradley Co. debris cleanup ruffles local feathers

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CLEVELAND, TN (WRCB) -- Piles and piles of debris still cover Bradley County.

It's enough to fill a thousand football fields, two inches deep.

Monday, the county awarded the clean up contract to Louisiana-based Unified Recovery Group to clean it up.

That decision didn't sit well with local contractor Rob Renner.

Renner said, "So now you have a company coming here from out of town with 100 employees and 100 pieces of equipment and none of the money will stay local."

The job will cost an estimated $3-4 million dollars, with 75 percent paid by FEMA.

Renner said the proposal was written to favor a company with "Hurricane Katrina-like" experience.

"So it excluded the vast majority of contractors in Tennessee, East Tennessee, and North Georgia. So no local company had a chance to participate."

But Bradley County Attorney Joseph Byrd said that's not true, entirely.

"The negotiations say we can't ask for unreasonable experience, but that doesn't mean we can't ask for some experience."

Byrd said this helps narrow a long list of would-be contractors without proper equipment.

"You don't want someone with a pick up truck saying hey, I'll do it for a third of what the other guys are charging."

3 local companies submitted proposals, none of which made the top five.

Byrd said price only played a small role.

He says nothing in the provision would favor a local company.

The best company wins.

"We would if we could keep it local to do the work, but we can't show that type of favor."

Another issue is Unified not having a Tennessee business license.

We are told debris pickup isn't a category for a state license, so that will come from the city and county.

Debris pickup is scheduled to begin Friday.


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