Niland fire aftermath

File photo

EL CENTRO — The Imperial County Board of Supervisors approved at its regular meeting Tuesday, June 8, the authorization for the County Executive Office to submit a $350,000 reallocation of funding from the 2018 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Colonias Allocation for Niland cleanups after the 2020 fire.

In 2019, the Board approved grant applications for activities that included the Niland Housing Rehabilitation Program. After the June 28, 2020, fire in Niland, the Board requested financial assistance from the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) for temporary housing for the misplaced residents and to begin debris cleanup from the aftermath of the fire. HCD agreed to modify the original grant, which would allocate $55,000 in subsistence payments and $295,000 in the Neighborhood Cleanup Program.

County Deputy CEO Esperanza Colio explained the importance of providing cleanup assistance in Niland to get families back to their properties. She explained that the cleanup was necessary due to there being more than just debris on the properties. Colio said there were other hazards, including dead trees.

Community members addressed the Board to share that they had collected signatures from those wishing to see the cleanup efforts approved by the Board. About 107 signatures were collected by the meeting.

“A hundred-and-seven signatures of people that are very interested in the cleanup and we’re hoping to have volunteers from the community as well … Between 2017 and 2019, we had about 15 cleanups throughout the whole County, and also the community was able to come together …”

Colio said there are two agencies that have been volunteering with the County to help mitigate the cleanup efforts in Niland. However, they do not have equipment like chainsaws to clear some of the dead trees and other large debris.

With the absence of Supervisor Raymond Castillo, the remainder of the Board unanimously approved the reallocation of funding to address the current and ongoing cleanup efforts.

Editor

Office Manager, Assignment/Copy Editor, DKN Managing Editor, Reporter, and The Millennial Meltdown Columnist

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