Disaster fund usage clarified for private roads in Larimer County

Larimer County continues to work with the State of Colorado and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development regarding the unmet needs from damages to private roads and bridges from the 2012 High Park Wildfire and 2013 flood. The state has championed the county’s cause for well over a year and HUD recently issued updated guidance on the use of Colorado Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funding for private roads. Specifically, the county will no longer be required to obtain matching funding from secondary homeowners if they are part of a larger project assisting multiple primary homeowners.

Roads and bridges, for access and future stability, are the main concerns in Larimer County’s recovery process. In the past, Larimer County has been restricted from assisting homeowners on private roads/bridges without pro-rating the funding to exclude secondary homeowners. Since roads and bridges serve both, however, this was something Larimer County believed needed to be evaluated at the state and federal levels.

HUD sent the county a memo on August 4 further clarifying their position on private roads and crossings. This memo, along with new guidance from the State of Colorado, allows the county greater flexibility in assisting homeowners in these areas.

“Due to limited funding, not all projects will be eligible for funding,” said Lori Hodges, director of emergency management at Larimer County. “However, we now believe we will have the ability to serve more households and neighborhoods with the new guidance without creating an undue financial strain on those already affected by the recent disasters.”

Hodges added that areas that qualify under this program will be contacted by letter outlining the program guidelines and future actions to mitigate these private road and bridge projects.

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