Officials simplify refund program | PostIndependent.com
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Officials simplify refund program

A new program is making it easier for landowners living in the Glenwood Springs Fire Protection District to get reimbursed for fireproofing their property.In the past, a Colorado State Forest Service program provided cost-share grants to local landowners. But locals had to go through administrators in Grand Junction and Fort Collins in order to apply for the program and receive approvals for their expense reimbursements.Now, locals will be able to apply for program funds directly with Ron Biggers, fire protection analyst for the Glenwood Springs Fire Department. “We now have a block of funds available to the Glenwood Springs Fire District,” he said. The fire district encompasses a 72-square-mile area, running from Sunlight Mountain Resort to the south, Canyon Creek area to the west, and east to the Hanging Lake tunnels in Glenwood Canyon. The cost-share program splits the cost 50-50 for reducing excess vegetation on private property between the forest service and the property owner (see box). All kinds of properties, from neighborhood homes to houses with acreage, are eligible for the program, though property owners must first apply for and receive approval for funding from Biggers. Owners may do the work themselves, for which they’ll be reimbursed $11.68 an hour, or they may hire a vendor to do the pruning, clearing and hauling. There’s a $1,200 reimbursement cap for creating defensible space at a home site without acreage. There’s no maximum cap on property with acreage, though there are caps for specific activities, such as tree pruning ($75 per acre) and forest thinning ($500 per acre). Biggers said property owners need to remember that they need to match all of the forest service funds with their own funds. “If you’ve got 10 acres and you want to do $20,000 worth of fire mitigation, you still need to come up with $10,000 to match the program’s $10,000,” he said. Contact Ron Biggers at the Glenwood Springs Fire Department 384-6480 for more information.Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518cclick@postindependent.com


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