Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Deadline for free debris removal assistance nears


The deadline for Tuscaloosa residents to apply for free property damage clean-up is Thursday, Sept. 15. The voluntary demolition program is a part of the city’s “Final Push” to remove debris at no cost or insured cost for landowners.

“For the city, we want everything to be cleaned up,” said Robin Edgeworth, Tuscaloosa legal affairs administrator. “It’s about helping people to get their houses torn down if there are houses that need to be. We want people to view this as an option. We want to give them an option to move forward.”

In order to apply, property owners must fill out an application and have a copy of a photo ID, proof of ownership and insurance policy. Proof of ownership can be a deed, tax record, mortgage payment book, etc.

Applications can be picked up from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the courtyard lobby of Tuscaloosa City Hall or found at On the website, there is a link to the application under the recovery information and voluntary demolition tabs. Applications can be mailed to the City of Tuscaloosa with attention to incident command at P.O. Box 2089, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401. Mailed applications have to be notarized.

After applications are received, they are reviewed by the city, FEMA and the state for eligibility. If residents receive insurance proceeds for demolition or debris removal, they will have to pay that to the city to assist with cost.

Researched criteria include the area being considered a health or safety hazard, a public nuisance, and the damage being solely from the April 27 storms.

“I would encourage people, if they are hesitant to call because they have questions about the program, to call if they have questions,” said Nicole Counsell, Thompson consulting services representative. “We can guide them in the right direction whether it’s demolition or making a recommendation to the steps they can take to move forward.”

Counsell said the main thing people need to make sure of is that they have all the proper documentation. Debris removal is a big part of the Tuscaloosa’s move toward reconstructing after the tornado. Edgeworth said clean-up is the next necessary step in the city’s plans to “move forward.”

“Tuscaloosa cannot move forward as long as there are obstacles in front of us such as debris and houses that need to demolished,” she said.

Counsell said if homes that need to be demolished are left standing, it could provide safety hazards for the community at large. There have been around 350 homes declared a nuisance.

The application deadline has the possibility of being extended if there is an influx of people expressing interest. The process for removal can begin after Tuesday’s City Council meeting. There will be a vote to approve the clean-up for 31 properties.

For more information or for assistance on the Voluntary Demolition Plan call 311 or Incident Command at 205-248-5040.

Deadline: Thursday, Sept . 15, 2011

Address to mail applications: City of Tuscaloosa

ATTN: Incident Command

P.O. Box 2089

Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

More information or help: 311 or 205-248-5040

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