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Questions About Rim Fire Federal Resilience Grant

Sonora, CA — While $70-million is coming to Tuolumne County for post Rim Fire efforts, there is uncertainty as to what specific projects it will fund.

The State of California submitted an application seeking $117-million for Rim Fire resilience projects, and with $70-million coming, it is unclear what of the $47-million was eliminated. Tuolumne County Administrator Craig Pedro notes that the press release put out late last week by HUD notes that a community resilience center will receive funding, but the application proposed two centers, one in Groveland and another in Tuolumne. Pedro says the verbiage leads the county to assume that only one has been funded, but which one is unknown. Assuming that this is the case, there are still additional cuts that had to be made to total the $47-million.

The HUD announcement also specifically notes that a bioenergy and wood products facility will receive money, and programs that will help watershed health through strategic thinning and biomass removal.

As to why it has been difficult to attain the specifics, Pedro says an assumption is that it could be related to the massive winter storm system that has hit the Washington DC area, closing several offices and making travel difficult. “I’ve been talking with the folks up in Sacramento who were the leads in putting the application together at the state level. They are as anxious as anyone to learn, but they have not been able to contact anyone.”

Pedro notes that as soon as the state leaders receive the details, they have agreed to pass them along to local officials.