City officials seek to change disaster debris removal policy is your source for free news and information in the Wilmington area.

Crews with the City of Wilmington collect debris from the recent ice storm. Photo by Jonathan Spiers.
Crews with the City of Wilmington collect debris from an ice storm. File photo by Jonathan Spiers.

The City of Wilmington will make an effort to change policy on collecting natural disaster debris by voting on an agreement with the N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to allow the city to be the lead agency on disaster-related debris removal on DOT-owned streets inside the city limits.

City officials hope the new measure will streamline efficiency and cut down the time of removal on some of Wilmington’s busiest streets.

City council will vote on the agreement during a regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday.

According to Dylan Lee, spokesman for the City of Wilmington, if approved, the city would have the primary responsibility of collecting disaster-related debris, which will provide the citizens a single point of contact and easier contract management for debris removal.

In addition, the city will be responsible for applying directly to FEMA for eligible debris removal costs in accordance with the rules and regulations in place at that time.

The city would become responsible for debris removal on streets such as Market, Carolina Beach Road, College, Shipyard, Wrightsville and Eastwood.

According to Lee, the policy change is not in a direct response to last week’s threat from Hurricane Joaquin, but instead to prepare for the overall threat potentially hazardous weather brings.

“It’s safe to say we’ve experienced some significant weather events— during all times of the year— that have led us to to believe we need to improve our efficiency when it comes to debris removal,” said Lee. “This will allow for us to create one line of communication and take the lead on those kind of projects.”

City council members will meet to discuss this issue along with other city business at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 6 at City Hall. You can find the meeting’s agenda here.

James Mieczkowski is a news reporter for Port City Daily. He can be reached at On Twitter: @mieczkowskiPCD