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City's fire recovery nonprofit begins to wind down

By: BARBARA COTTER
February 25, 2013
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photo - Rebuilding is well under way in Mountain Shadows. Photo by The Gazette file
Rebuilding is well under way in Mountain Shadows. Photo by The Gazette file 

So much progress has been made in rebuilding the hard-hit Mountain Shadows area that a nonprofit helping to fast-track the Waldo Canyon fire recovery will likely shut its center on Centennial Boulevard in a few months, though its work will continue through the year.

Colorado Springs Together was created shortly after the fire to remove red tape so homeowners could quickly remove the charred debris from their property, get building permits, navigate the insurance maze and find a source of information and community support under one roof.

With more than one-third of the 347 burned-out homes permitted for rebuilding, and 11 erected, Colorado Springs Together’s focus is shifting toward restoring the natural landscape and undertaking “community enhancement” projects, such as renovating parks and spearheading an anniversary event, said president Bob Cutter.

“We are setting records in terms of the speed and magnitude of the recovery,” he said.

Debris removal/wrecking permits have been issued for all 347 properties, with 297 projects completed.

By the middle of the year, Cutter expects to be able to close the Colorado Springs Together center at 6840 Centennial Blvd. The organization will continue to help homeowners who need it, but Cutter anticipates that it will be able to go on “standby” mode early next year.

“We’ll be driven by demand,” he said after the meeting. “We’ll keep it together for whatever challenge hits Colorado Springs in the future.”

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