Commissioners Delay Vote on Tree Hazard Mitigation

Scene from the Black Forest Fire, June 2013

El Paso County Commissioners have delayed a vote to decide whether to accept FEMA funds to remove trees burned in the Black Forest Fire.

The county is trying to take advantage of FEMA dollars to help mitigate over 13,000 hazardous trees. FEMA would kick in 75% of the costs.

The team tasked to come up with a plan has lined up two, out-of-state companies to manage and mitigate the tree removal.

County commissioners were supposed to vote on the plan on December 31st, but delayed the vote to allow more preparation and research.

Local contractors tell 11 News they can do the work cheaper.

Kyle Anderson with Anderson Trees out of Colorado Springs says he can remove the trees at 1/4 of the cost. He says it's more cost effective to wait and hire someone locally.

"The trees aren't going to blow over today," Anderson told 11 News. "We could do it for less than 1/4 of what FEMA dollars would cost."

The El Paso County Commission plans to vote on a place January 16th.