Irma debris removal stalemate won't be tolerated, Scott says

Governor calls out contractors, asks companies willing to help to contact FDOT

By Peter Burke - Managing Editor

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. - Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi are calling out debris removal contractors who are not acting in good faith in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

"This week, I have heard from many local communities from across the state that believe they are being price gouged by debris removal contractors," Scott said Thursday in a statement. "Many mayors have told me there are companies not following contracts by removing debris. We will not tolerate any attempt by businesses to take advantage of our communities during their time of need, especially in the wake of a natural disaster like Hurricane Irma."

Many South Florida streets are still littered with yard debris almost two weeks after the storm brushed the region.

So Scott is putting the removal companies with government contracts on notice and asking companies from the state and throughout the country willing to help at a fair price to contact the Florida Department of Transportation.

"We will continue to do all we can to help ensure communities get cleaned up," Scott said.

Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief said "price-gouging and competition" is a problem. She told Local 10 News that Miami-Dade County is paying more money than what Broward County's contracts pay.

"It's really disheartening that, at a time when they need it, they know that the contracts are there for emergency purposes, and they're saying, 'OK, I want more money,'" Sharief said.

Bondi said exploiting municipalities will not be tolerated.

"These contractors should honor their promises to Floridians and do their jobs when they are needed most," Bondi said.

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