Teresa Watson gets FEMA to cough up money

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By Lou Elliott Jones, Editor

BRONSON — Teresa Watson is not the sort of person you should owe a debt.

She will collect the money.

The Board of Commissioners recently commended Watson, a financial clerk in Levy County Clerk of Courts Danny Shipp’s office, on Jan. 6 for getting the Federal Emergency Management Agency to agree to cover cost overruns at the Cedar Key dock rebuilding. The dock, which was reopened in July 2008, was damaged by tropical storms and hurricanes in the devastating 2004 Hurricane Season. The dock had to be replaced with a new stronger concrete structure.

When FEMA agreed to give Levy County a grant to cover the cost of rebuilding, Watson said, it was not anticipated that concrete and steel rebar would increase in price the way it did in 2005. Both products were experiencing heavy demand for rebuilding projects overseas in Iraq as well as from a second devastating hurricane season on the Gulf Coast.

When the costs were more than expected, the county moved to dip into other agencies’ funds to cover the $762,486.98 bill.

Watson started work at the county in late 2005, and it became her task to recover the overrun from FEMA.

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