Clearing up confusion with JaCo fire-hardening grants


TALENT, Ore. – Jackson County has set aside almost six million dollars for its fire-hardening grants.

People who live in the burn scar of the Almeda and South Obenchain Fires, can apply for the grants, and receive money for more fire-resistant materials while they rebuild, like fire-safe roofing and siding, among others.

County officials said the deadline for the grant is coming up soon, so people who qualify should apply now.

“We did recently start calling people, letting them know that the timeline is getting short here and we don’t know if it’s going to be extended or not, just to give them a heads up. We would be glad to help them through and we’d love for everybody to get the money out of this program,” said Ted Zuk, Jackson County’s Development Services Director.

Zuk said applications for the grant end in June, but for some residents, applying has been less than clear.

One Talent resident tells us that even though her home is complete, the city of talent will not consider her project as completed.

“Well, I haven’t done the landscaping, but the house is completed, and she said okay well you are not eligible at this time,” said Talent Resident, Amy Lukens.

Lukens said the city’s guidelines contradicted the county’s rules about what qualifies for the grant.

“The work just simply has to be completed, there’s some confusion sometimes on whether that means it’s a certificate of occupancy or whether the work is complete. For instance, if you’re getting grant money for the roofing type that you are putting on then we would just verify that the roof was done and you would qualify for that once it’s completed,” said Zuk.

Lukens said the issue has been resolved and the miscommunication between the county and the city had been cleared up.

“I’m hoping that the City of Talent is reassessing everybody that they have in this situation because I’m sure that I’m not the only person,” said Lukens.

County officials say as soon as the fire-safe materials have been installed you qualify for the grant.

You can apply on Jackson County’s website.


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