$400k Grant For Fuels Reduction

CHRISTOPHER CREEK

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Labor Day is over and it is feeling like autumn -- the end to another beautiful summer here in the Rim Country.

The mornings are a little chilly if you are out walking. Have you noticed how it is staying darker later in the mornings and getting darker earlier in the evening?

Fall is in the air and before you know it, the elk will be bugling and it will be turkey time. I don't know about you, but I am loving it. It is cooling off and time to clean up your property.

Christopher/Kohl's Fire District

Christopher Kohl's Fire District has received a $400,000 grant for the reduction of forest fuels within the private land of the district.

Area residents must match part of this grant with their own labor.

Residents may apply for funds from the grant to help clean up their properties. Most associations and groups have a representative that will assist you in completing the process. If your association has no representative, you can volunteer to help them out.

If you are working on your property personally, please obtain a Labor and Equipment Form from the Fire Department in Christopher Creek. Complete and return it, so your hours will count for the match for which we are responsible.

Labor match for grant

This year's grant requires a $150,000 match of their labor.

To receive funding, a resident must apply for an "Assessment" of their property. A certified state assessor will perform this.

It is a mandatory assessment. It helps homeowners understand why some trees and underbrush should be removed, and why certain things on their homes should be corrected.

The recommendations need not be carried out all at the same time. Some projects can be ongoing for several years.

An assessment permission form is available at the fire department or in the grant packet.

After the assessment has been conducted and delivered to you, you must obtain two bids (if possible) to have the work done.

A sheet with contractors and supply list is available to help you find workers for your project. An assessment from a contractor is not valid unless revaluated by a state land certified assessor.

Next, you obtain a grant application form, complete it, and return it with the assessment, paid invoices, and pictures.

The reimbursement will be 80 percent of $1,500 (or $1,200) for each lot/acre/parcel -- up to a maximum of 5 acres/lots/parcels ($7,500) X .80 = $6,000 paid out.

A dump trailer is available for residents of the district to use for cleaning up their property. Please call (928) 478-4403 between 3 and 6 p.m. for scheduling.

Weekend pickups will be drive-by only. You must have people to load the trailer. Volunteers will not help you load the trailer. On weekdays, you may arrange to have the trailer take several trips to the brush pit.

The trailer will not be left on your property.

Again, you must have labor to load the trailer. Adequate space for turnaround is a must. If you can't access your property with the truck and trailer, they can't get a fire engine in there either!

Recap

1. Arrange for certified assessment, take "before" pictures.

2. Have a contractor perform the work.

3. Complete grant application, and return with assessment, invoices and pictures.

4. Pay contractor.

5. Submit packet to CKFD.

Don't forget the Oktoberfest is coming to Creekside Steakhouse on Saturday, Sept. 29 and Sunday, Sept. 30.

Mark your calendars because it is going to be a very fun event, one I am sure will continue for years.

Don't forget to call Debbie Ashbrenner, owner of Tall Pines Market, if you want a free space to sell your wares that weekend. (928) 478-4550.

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