Federal money for wildfire mitigation lands in Colorado

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From The Greeley Tribune (Analisa Romano):

Greeley has been reimbursed another $350,000 in federal dollars for mitigation following last year’s High Park and Hewlett Gulch fires, bumping up the city’s total reimbursement to $576,000. It brings the final count for the city’s out-of-pocket expenses to clear Greeley’s water supply of soot and ash to $1.2 million. Eric Reckentine, Greeley’s deputy director of water resources, said that’s the last Greeley will pay. Following Congress’ passage of a bill this spring to fund the protection of threatened water sources in Colorado, the remainder of mitigation will be fully funded by federal dollars, he said.

Last fall, stakeholders in the Poudre Canyon — Greeley, the city of Fort Collins and the tri-districts (North Weld County, Fort Collins-Loveland and East Larimer County water districts) — agreed to share the cost of keeping water supply in the Poudre River clean. They paid a combined $4 million to treat the most-damaged areas, covering about half of what was needed.

This year, the rest of the tab — at a cost of about $7.3 million — will be picked up by the federal government, with Greeley’s $1.2 million used as matching funds for federal grant money, Reckentine said.

Fort Collins and the tri-districts also have been reimbursed by National Resources Conservation Services.

In the mitigation process, mulch and straw is dumped from helicopters to keep soot, ash and debris from slipping off of hills and into the water supply. Reckentine said Greeley will still be responsible for managing some of the mitigation. He said the city hopes to see work on burn areas start in mid-August.

From KUNC (Erin OToole):

Last fall, the three water districts in Weld and Larimer counties, and the cities of Greeley and Fort Collins agreed to share the cost of keeping water in the Poudre River clean. Stakeholders paid a combined total of $4 million to treat the most damaged areas – only about half of what was needed.

This year the rest of the tab – about $7 million – will be picked up by the federal government. Fort Collins and the tri-districts are also being reimbursed.

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