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Horse park flood damage repairs to be reimbursed by FEMA/GEMA
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Flood damage to the Georgia International Horse Park grounds may be repaired just in time for park's busy spring season and the cost mostly reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Georgia Emergency Management Agency

Out of about $139,497 in flood damage repairs and costs, 75 percent of that will be reimbursed by FEMA and 10 percent by GEMA, leaving about $20,900 in costs for the city.

The repairs had to be broken up into seven smaller projects along FEMA guidelines, since the damage was so extensive, said Jennifer Bexley, GIHP director. The Conyers City Council approved four contracts for damage repairs at the Wednesday night council meeting.The other repairs were taken care of in-house or were costs associated with emergency personnel time.

Four companies bid on the projects and two were selected. Blankenship Sand Co. of Canton, Ga. was selected for the Trailhead trail repairs at a cost of $28,227. The Miller Grading company of Covington was selected for the River trail repairs, at $22,912, and Glen trail repairs, at $25,545. Blankenship Sand Co. was also chosen for the sand removal from the glen, for $41,160.

The sand from the glen will be sifted and used for the GIHP arena, saving on having to buy sifted sand, said Bexley. The remaining vegetation will be mulched and used the park, and the coarser sand will be used to fill in ruts in the landscape or taken to the landfill.

The bids were received and closed Tuesday afternoon and the city council received information about the bids on Wednesday before the meeting. Bexley said the rush to get on the council's Jan. 6 agenda, instead of waiting two weeks for the next meeting, came from trying to start the projects in time so they could be completed by March, as equestrian events started back up.

City Manager Tony Lucas commended Bexley on putting together the applications, despite "arduous requirements from GEMA and FEMA."

Lucas commented that multiple city departments received many calls from different GEMA and FEMA personnel. "It was almost like the right hand did not know what the left was doing," he said.