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Coal Seam victims should see money soon

Donna Daniels

Victims of the Coal Seam Fire should be getting some financial help soon.

All Glenwood Springs banks have opened accounts to accept donations for the victims. Those monies will be distributed by the city of Glenwood Springs.

A committee of present and former city councilors were to meet today to decide how to distribute the funds, said Glenwood Springs Mayor Don Vanderhoof.

Former mayor Bob Zanella will head the committee.

“Bob was so heavily involved in the Storm King Fire, that’s why we picked him,” Vanderhoof said.

The funds should begin to reach victims at the end of this week or early next week, Vanderhoof said.

Although the ground rules for distributing the funds have not been set in stone, Vanderhoof said anyone with a loss will be considered, “not just people who lost their homes.”

Banks are still accepting donations, although they have slowed down to a trickle, Vanderhoof said.

Alpine Bank has collected over $60,000 so far. Officials of other banks declined to reveal their donations totals.

“All the accounts are still open. If you haven’t donated, this is the time to do it,” he said.

Anyone wishing to contribute may go into any Glenwood Springs bank and mention the Coal Seam Fire Relief Fund.

“We’ll continue to keep the accounts open until we’re told there is no more need,” said Alpine Bank vice president of marketing John Cooper. “That’s certainly not the case now.”

In addition to the relief fund, Wells Fargo Bank has set up a lending program for victims, said Glenwood Springs and Carbondale branch manager Wanda Cooley.

Under the program, victims can apply for up to $250,000 either as a secured or unsecured loan. The first payment on the loan will be deferred 60 days, Cooley said. And the interest rate for the life of the loan will be 3.75 percent.

Wells Fargo banks in Colorado are also accepting donations to an Animal Shelter Fund to reimburse county animal shelters that housed animals during the recent wildfires.

Some banks, including the Bank of Colorado and Alpine Bank, are also accepting donations for fire victims to be distributed by the American Red Cross.

“I have a commitment from the West Slope chapter of the American Red Cross that the funds will be distributed to Coal Seam Fire victims only,” Cooper said.


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