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WELD COUNTY — Spring cleaning will take on a new meaning for many county residents this year as they continue to recover from the September 2013 flood.
Mild weather has allowed many people to resume the task of cleaning-up their property in the unincorporated areas of the county and has presented those residents with the challenge disposing the various types of flood-debris remaining on their land.
“Our Environmental Health Department, as well as the Board of Commissioners, has received numerous calls during the past several weeks from residents in the unincorporated areas of the county requesting assistance with debris removal,” said Weld County Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer. “So the Board has agreed to initiate a second round of disposal vouchers to assist these residents in the flood recovery process.”
Last fall, the county made available approximately 3,500 vouchers to residents which allowed them to take flood-related debris to approved disposal facilities at no charge to them. Approximately 1,600 of those vouchers were utilized during that period at a cost of $47,000 to the county which was reimbursed by FEMA.
This second round of vouchers will not be reimbursable by FEMA as it falls outside of the time-frame FEMA approved for debris removal. The county instead will use money from its solid waste fund to support this program, which is available only to residents in the unincorporated areas of the county affected by the flood. Residents in municipalities should contact their municipal government for information about their debris removal programs and policies.
“Last fall, many residents in the unincorporated areas of the county focused on cleaning and repairing their homes before winter set in,” said Trevor Jiricek, Director of the Weld County Department of Environmental Health. “Now that spring is here, many of those same families are now cleaning up the debris from their property and fields.” Debris such as tires, fallen trees, and other items still litter many areas of the county along the river.
To request a voucher, residents should call 970-304-6484 and leave a message with their name, contact number and address. A member of the Debris Assessment Team will return their call within 24 hours and set up an appointment to visit the property and assess the number of vouchers needed to assist the property owner. “If those residents can have the debris gathered in one place for the assessment, that would be helpful,” said Jiricek, “but it is certainly not a requirement.”
On-site assessments by the Debris Assessment Team staff are required for this program.