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Non-Profit Launched To Finish Mt Provo Safety Improvements

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Tuolumne, CA — A non-profit organization has been formed to help raise money to finish an emergency evacuation route in Ponderosa Hills, and identify other future public safety projects.

The group Tuolumne Safe, a 501 ©(3) is led by District Three Tuolumne County Supervisor Anaiah Kirk, and the other board members are Matthew Nutting, Shelly Foley, Curtis Doty, Mel Kirk, Terry Northcutt and Clay Mermod.

The first big project, finishing an emergency route along Mount Provo Road, started several months ago. Kirk says back in early summer, Frontier Communications, CAL Fire, TUD, Sierra Mountain Construction and the US Forest Service all teamed up to move communication lines at Frontier’s cost. CAL Fire filled the deep ruts and graded the road, Sierra Mountain Construction volunteered a water tender, and water access was provided by TUD.

Kirk says, “Before the next rain comes, and right now during this critical time of peak fire season, we really need to finish the project.  We have it graded, but we need to apply some base rock.”

Tuolumne Safe is trying to raise $13,000 to help complete this phase of the project and pay the cost of trucking 27 loads of rock. The organization is also looking for a local company to compact and grade the rock once it has been transported to the site. The rock material has been donated by Blue Mountain Minerals.

Kirk also says trucking companies, or solo operators, can donate to the project by the truckload. He adds that all donations, whether it be financial or material or equipment, are tax-deductible. For more information about donations, click here.

The improvements will provide an emergency exit for an estimated 800 homes in Ponderosa Hills in the event of a natural disaster, like a wildfire.

Kirk says the organization will also look to develop plans, and fund, other safety projects in the future. He says the government process to acquire needed grant funding is often slow, which is why this new organization was founded. They’ll be working with private industry and local residents in hopes of finding quick solutions.

“We’re going to pick very specific projects that we think are going to save lives, and that we can fix now. Like Mount Provo Road, I can’t wait another month, or another season, to fix the road. We need to fix it now to potentially save lives.”

You can find more information about Tuolumne Safe by clicking here.