Lee County budgets take a hit following storms

Lee County budgets take a hit following storms

LEE COUNTY, AL (WSFA) - Local officials have been working around the clock since the storms that rolled through Lee County on March 3, and although neighboring counties are pitching in to help, it’s made a big impact on the local overtime budget.

Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones said their overtime budget has taken a very severe hit.

"Checking our figures in the last couple of days, we are close to six figures on overtime budget,“ said Jones.

Local officials are footing the bill for now, but say they’re hoping for federal help.

“We were federally declared which puts a whole lot of things in place to be able to apply for a reimbursement from FEMA for emergency protective measures overtime hours,” said Lee County Emergency Management Agency PIO Rita Smith.

Lee County EMA officials and first responders are currently logging all overtime hours to submit to FEMA.

Officials say they are concerned being so far into their overtime budget with seven months left in the fiscal year, but they say that no matter the cost, helping the community is their number one priority.

“We have so many great people here, responders and agencies that would have done it regardless, there’s not a doubt in my mind,“ said Smith.

“The bottom line is helping neighbors and helping others in their time of need. Everything else just kind of fades to the side when you’re talking about whether someone will be compensated for this that or the other. It’s all about neighbors helping neighbors," said Jones.

Officials say they’ll assess the situation in the next couple of days to see if they will continue to need help from neighboring counties.

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