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October 17, 2012
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The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comment and involvement as it develops a comprehensive plan for reducing hazardous fuels for wildfires in the Eagle Valley.The BLM is preparing a programmatic environmental assessment that will take a comprehensive look at managing vegetation on BLM lands across the Eagle Valley to reduce potential wildfires. Completing this programmatic EA will streamline the approval process for individual projects that would cover up to several hundred acres over the next 10 years or so.Projects could include mechanical treatments such as a Hydro-axe, as well as prescribed fire and hand-cutting to thin trees and other hazardous fuels. The focus is to reduce the risk of large-scale wildfires that could enter private land from BLM lands, improve conditions for firefighter and public safety, and improve wildlife habitat and overall ecosystem health.“We want to hear from the public about this plan. What types of projects do you support, and where?” said BLM Fuels Specialist Rusty Stark. “We also want to have the opportunity to answer questions from the public, so we are encouraging people to stop by our open house this month.”The open house and presentation will begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23 in the Garden Level Room at the Eagle County Building, 500 Broadway. — Staff report

The Eagle County Clerk and Recorder's offices in Avon, Eagle and El Jebel will be closed for motor vehicle, recording and liquor license transactions on Nov. 6 to allow all staff to assist with the General Election. All three locations will be open for election assistance from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Documents requiring recording will be accepted and processed on Nov. 7 with an effective date of Nov. 6. For more information, visit www.eaglecounty.us/clerk or call Eagle County Clerk and Recorder Teak Simonton at 970-328-8728.— Staff report

Eagle County Clerk Teak Simonton is reminding voters of the following important election dates:Oct. 22 to Nov. 2 — Early voting available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at all three Clerk & Recorder's Office locations.Oct. 27 — Saturday early voting available 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at all three Clerk & Recorder's Office locations.Oct. 30 — Deadline for requesting a mail-in ballot be mailed.Nov. 2 — Deadline for requesting a mail-in ballot in person.Nov. 6 — Election Day. Polling place and Clerk's Office hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.Clerk and Recorder's Offices are located in Avon at 100 West Beaver Creek Blvd., in Eagle at 500 Broadway and in El Jebel at 0020 Eagle County Drive. To determine your polling place location, visit www.eaglecounty.us/clerk.Voters are also reminded that identification is required both to vote early and at the polls on Election Day. The most common acceptable forms of ID include Colorado driver's licenses, Colorado Department of Revenue IDs, valid U.S. passports, valid student ID cards from any institution of higher education in Colorado, U.S. military IDs and certified birth certificates.Electioneering is not allowed within 100 feet of any polling place. All forms of the following actions are prohibited: campaigning for or against any candidate who is on the ballot; campaigning for or against any ballot issue or question on the ballot; wearing clothing, buttons, hats and pins with candidates' names or ballot issues.For more information, contact the Elections Department at 970-328-8715.— Staff reportEnergy assistance program in Eagle accepting applicationsThe Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) will be available for eligible households from Nov. 1 through April 30, 2013. Qualifying limited-income households may receive assistance to pay a portion of their home energy bill.For the 2012-13 heating season, Eagle, Garfield and Pitkin Counties have contracted with Goodwill Industries of Southern and Western Colorado to administer the program. Goodwill Industries has been administering the LEAP program for El Paso County for more than 15 years and has developed an effective process for managing approximately 20,000 applications per heating season. “By contracting with Goodwill, households seeking assistance will receive their benefits more quickly and at a lower cost to the county,” said Megan Burch, economic services manager for Eagle and Pitkin County.Households may qualify for LEAP assistance if anyone within the home is a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident; heating costs are paid directly to an energy provider or is included in the rent; and gross monthly household income is within income guidelines. Household SizeMonthly Income 1$1,3972$1,8923$2,3874$2,8825$3,3776$3,8727$4,3678$4,862Each qualified household may receive only one LEAP benefit for the winter season. Additional factors such as type of heat being used and type of dwelling unit are considered before an amount is awarded to an applicant. Funds for home heating system repairs may also be available.An additional resource for those struggling with high heat bills is the Governor's Energy Office Energy Management Program, also known as the Weatherization Program. The program is available to assist low- and moderate-income households reduce their heating costs through services such as insulation, caulking and weather-stripping, as well as the installation of new storm windows and new energy-efficient furnaces and refrigerators. Those who qualify for LEAP, Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF), Old Age Pension (OAP) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) automatically qualify for these weatherization services.After Nov. 1, applications for LEAP may be picked up from any of the Eagle, Garfield and Pitkin County Health and Human Services office locations in Aspen, Avon, Eagle, El Jebel, Glenwood Springs, and Rifle. To request an application by mail or for more information on LEAP and other available resources, call Discover Goodwill at 1-888-775-5327 or Heat Help at 1-866-432-8435. For more information on the Weatherization Program, call 1-800-332-3669 or visit www.nwccog.org and click on “Weatherization Program.”— Staff report


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The VailDaily Updated Oct 17, 2012 01:00PM Published Oct 17, 2012 12:58PM Copyright 2012 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.