On Thursday, March 18, Grand County Commissioner Richard Cimino and Grand Lake Mayor Steve Kudron testified in front of the Colorado House of Representatives in support of House Bill 21-1208: Natural Disaster Mitigation Enterprise. The House then voted eight-to-four to refer the bill to the Committee on Finance. Cimino and Kudron were called during the same panel.
The bi-partisan bill establishes an enterprise to be funded by fee revenue from insurance policies for a natural disaster mitigation grant program. The bill also provides local governments technical assistance on natural disaster mitigation.
“In short, what this bill does is help counties like ours recover financially in the aftermath of extreme natural events like the East Troublesome Fire,” Cimino said. “Many times, federal disaster funding assistance is only available if local governments match those funds dollar-for dollar. This bill establishes a pool of funds that can be accessed via a grant process to help cover those match requests.”
The enterprise will collect $1.25 of every $1,000 in insurance premiums collected on certain policies by insurance companies that offer those policies.
Additionally, HB 21-1208 will provide grants to local communities for natural disaster mitigation in an attempt to lessen the effects of large-scale disasters like Grand County experienced last fall.
“For example, Grand County can apply for a grant to remove dead trees and fuel reduction projects in identified priority mitigation locations of wildland urban interface in many areas throughout the county, including neighborhoods adjacent to Winter Park and Fraser,” said Cimino. “We will coordinate any grant requests with the Grand County Wildfire Council, all Fire Districts and our State and Federal partners.”