Payson Healthy Forest/Hazardous Fuels Grant
Part 2 of 2
By Bob Decker
Ok, those are the basics. Now let’s get to the details about the process itself:
Step 1. E-mail Kevin McCully – firstname.lastname@example.org. In the e-mail, request to be signed up for the grant application with your name, contact information (phone, e-mail, mailing address), property address, APN, and number of acres.
At this point, if you want a grant: DO NOT pay the contractor a deposit. DO NOT pay for the job. DO NOT pay for the job NOW or LATER in CASH.
Grant applications are only submitted at certain time periods during the year. Generally, in May of every year, DFFM (Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management) requests grant applications. The Fuels Manager applies using specific properties from the application list. These properties are prioritized based on critical needs in a specific area to reduce the fire threat to Payson and the amount of money available.
Grant requests are not guaranteed to be approved or funded, and may not be funded for the entire cost of the project. Sometime in August of every year, DFFM will notify the Fire Department if the grant was approved. If the grant application is approved, more documentation is required.
It generally takes until December to receive a grant contract.
Step 2. The home/property owner will be notified by e-mail if the grant was approved. The Fuels Manager will contact them with details and send them an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) specifying the agreement for work between the property owner and the Town of Payson. He then will ask to set a time with them to take photos of their property. Kevin’s phone number is: 928-472-5171.
Currently, the owner must pay at least 30% and the grant reimburses 70%. Remember, the applicant must have pictures taken before the work begins. NO WORK CAN COMMENCE PRIOR TO THE SIGNING OF THE MOU. Reimbursement is based on the MOU. The Town reimburses the property owner AFTER THE WORK IS COMPLETE and the Town is then reimbursed through DFFM. DO NOT start/pay for the work until you receive notice from Kevin McCully that your grant has been approved, and for what amount. If you had the work done before your grant was approved, you are out of luck, and will receive nothing.
Step 3. The home/property owner contacts a contractor (recommended to get at least 3 bids) and have them come to their residence to write a bid of the job. The bid MUST be written on the contractor’s official company letterhead. They MUST be licensed to do business in Payson. The properties to be mitigated and available for the grants are only Payson, Mesa Del Caballo (Houston Mesa Fire District), Round Valley, and Oxbow Estates.
Step 4. The property owner schedules (and oversees to completion) the work with the contractor within the parameters of the signed MOU.
Step 5. When the work is completed, the applicant needs to obtain the contractor’s invoice specifically stating the work that was done on their official company letterhead, and stamped as paid-in-full. Yes, the applicant pays the entire bill. ONLY pay with
a check, which will need to be cancelled, and a copy made of both sides. Kevin must be called to have him come out and take
another picture of the property. Then the applicant submits the contractor’s invoice and cancelled check to Kevin McCully. The Town will cut a reimbursing check to the applicant for the amount of the grant that was previously approved. These grants through DFFM will allow a one-time only initial grant of your property. Any further “Firewising” of your property will be considered maintenance and will not be eligible for another grant.
I believe the grants that are currently available were applied for in 2021. As Kevin states, “Patience is a virtue when working in obtaining this grant.” Let’s say a person applies for a grant in June of 2022. The actual grant will not be submitted until May of 2023. The work on the property would be allowed to start in January of 2024, IF it was the first one up on the quarterly schedule. It could easily be two to three years from the approved application to when the work is completed. “Patience is truly a virtue.”
If you enjoyed this article, please stay tuned and watch for information coming soon for the RIMWAT and Pine Strawberry Fuel Reduction Educational Seminar Series on topics related to “Living in the Wildland Urban Interface.” Call RIMWAT at 928-275-1244, or email us at email@example.com, or Pine Strawberry Fuel Reduction at 602-842-1955, or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can reach Dave Golembewski at 928-951-2794, or email him at email@example.com.
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