Hazardous tree removal grants available to El Dorado County seniors | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Hazardous tree removal grants available to El Dorado County seniors

Tree mortality continues to be a problem in El Dorado and other California counties.
Ryan Hoffman / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

Grants for removing hazardous trees are now available to low-income seniors in El Dorado County.

The grant program was approved by the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors following a recent presentation by staff, according to the county.

“The tree mortality issues in our county remain very serious. We’re just happy to have this program available to assist private homeowners, especially our seniors with limited income, who have no other means to remove dead or dying trees from threatening damage to their homes,” Michael Ranalli, District IV supervisor, said in a press release.

All applicants must be 60 years of age or older, own the property on which they reside, and have incomes at or below 60 percent of the county’s area median income, according to the county. Maximum household income limits for the program are $31,950 for one person; $36,540 for two people; $41,100 for three people; and $45,660 for four people.

Funding for the program comes from a California Department of Forestry (Cal Fire) and Fire Protection State Responsibility Area Fire Prevention Fund and Tree Mortality grant. El Dorado County received approximately $200,000 to help seniors remove dead and dying trees that endanger their residence.

To meet the criteria under the program, dead and dying trees must be: greater than 10 inches in diameter and 20 feet in height; must be within 300 feet of, and pose a structural threat to the residence; and must also be reasonably accessible by equipment or machinery.

“The county estimates the funding received from Cal Fire could remove up to 42 trees, hopefully more,” Creighton Avila, deputy chief administrative officer, said in the press release. “For now we’ll be limited to removing about two trees per property.”

Qualified homeowners must complete an application packet asking for information concerning employment and income sources. Completed applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. The county will dispatch a forester to qualified applicant’s home to determine the number and condition of trees to be removed and the estimated cost associated with removal.

Additionally, the county must contract with a removal service through an open-bid process. Based on the application, forester and contractor selection process and weather conditions, trees are expected to be removed beginning next year.

For more information and to receive an application, contact the Community Development Services, Housing Community and Economic Development Program at 530-621-5159.

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