Butte County Q&A
Q: If a person has not signed up for CalOes debris removal. How long can they leave their debris without cleaning it up? Is there a time frame?
A: Property owners may enroll in one of two program for fire debris removal, the Government Program or the Alternative Program. The State (CalOES and CalRecycle) estimates that all properties enrolled in the Government Program will be cleaned by February 2020. The County Board of Supervisors has the ability to set a “clean-by date” for contractors operating in the Alternative Program. The clean-by date has not been set yet.
Property owners who have not yet enrolled in a debris removal program may still do so, and they should. The Town and the County have Nuisance Abatement authorities, which allow both jurisdictions to abate the fire debris (make sure the properties are cleared of fire debris). Approximately 165 properties in the Town and 90 properties in the County still need to be enrolled in a debris removal program. Staff from both the Town and County are working to make contact with these property owners to get the properties enrolled. The Nuisance Abatement has not begun for these properties yet, and the goal is to gain voluntary compliance before abating any properties.
Q: What incentives are in place to encourage or help those returning/rebuilding? The gal on the phone was helpful in detailing the grant to help with building permit fees. Is there anything else besides calling 211?
A: Butte County received a generous donation from the Butte Strong Fund to provide rebuilding incentive grants to property owners who are rebuilding after the Camp Fire. The grant can pay 50% of building fees up to $3,500. Additionally, the Golden State Finance Authority, which is comprised of members from the Rural County Representative of California, also generously granted Butte County funds to provide rebuilding incentive grants. These grants may be used for property owners who are Veterans rebuilding after the Camp Fire. The grant can pay 100% of building fees.
The County does not currently have any other financial assistance for property owners wanting to rebuild after the Camp Fire. The County recently submitted an application to CalHOME (State funding source) for $10 million to provide low interest loans to low and moderate income home owners to fill any needed gaps for reconstruction costs. The maximum loan amount will be $150,000. We will not know for a while if this program is funded, but will make the information available to the public once we know.
Q: Why do those of us rebuilding have to buy and install our own power pole and lines?
A: Private property owners are responsible for the private infrastructure on the property or beyond the meter, such as power, water, wastewater, and roads. The utility provider, in this case PG&E, is responsible for the infrastructure (poles and lines) before it reaches the customer’s meter. The meter panel and structure or pole it is mounted on are the property owner’s responsibility.