WASHINGTON COUNTY - At a press conference Monday afternoon, County Administrator Jeff Massey could not be more clear regarding debris removal: May 1 is the absolute cutoff.

"A month ago we received communication from the state, stating that we should have all debris out by March 15, final pickup by April 15. And that was our goal, that's what we've been shooting for," Massey said. "In the last week, we received information that will allow us to continue for a short period of time to May 1."

"I will say this, we're still operating on our original assumption, that the debris should have been out April 15," he said. "We are working off our punch list and debris that we know has been out - and has not been collected yet. We're not encouraging people to put out new debris."

The final debris pass was slated for April 15, but has been extended to May 1.

The county has already picked up 1.3 million cubic yards of debris. And, as Massey noted, will continue off of the punch list. It was not immediately clear how many roads were still left on that list. The state's deadline for counties to have disposed of all material and closed processing sites is May 31.

Massey said the county is devoting the entire month of May to completing that task.

"If you put out new debris in May, it may or may not be picked up," he said emphatically. "If it's not, then that's going to be incumbent on the person who put the debris on the right of way."

The county will not look to contract with a private contractor to provide any additional debris removal services. Massey said, seven months for removal was adequate to clean up Washington County and that, again, the county intends to stick to the removal schedule set forth by the state.

If there are any issues, the county will handle it on a case by case basis.

"This is something we have to stand firm on," he said. "We feel like the plan we have works for our county."