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2021 Fall Chipping Reimbursement Information

For the Fall 2021 season, the RCD is offering the Neighborhood Chipping Reimbursement Program. Neighborhoods with a minimum of eight participating households are eligible for reimbursement of up to $250 per property and $1 per lineal foot of private road where defensible space is created and the material is chipped. Reimbursements can not exceed the cost of chipping. There is a $10K maximum per neighborhood.

Who is eligible?

Reimbursements for chipping services is available to Santa Cruz County residential neighborhoods who have eight or more participating households that are within the Wildland Urban Interface (see map below).

Residents of Bonny Doon and South Skyline areas of Santa Cruz County are not currently eligible and should sign up for chipping services through their local Fire Safe Council. Chipping reimbursement can only be for materials that originate within 100 feet of an occupied structure or within 10 feet on either side of a private road. Visit the Fire Safe Council of Santa Cruz County to learn more about how to effectively create defensible space.

Property owners impacted by the CZU Fire who lost their home may participate in the program if:

  1. Your new home will be rebuilt before the end of the 2021 fire season (for next year’s program it will be the 2022 fire season) OR
  2. You are currently living on the property in a temporary dwelling (mobile home, RV, etc) as your primary residence and will be there through the 2021 fire season OR
  3. Vegetation on your property is within 100 feet of a neighbor’s occupied home.

How does the program work?

First, choose one neighborhood representative to complete the online forms. This can be anyone from your neighborhood, HOA, or road association. Signups are first-come-first served and require the completion of a two-part process.

Part one is to submit an online application to verify that funds are available and hold funds for your community based on the number of participants. Part two is to complete pdfchipping reimbursement form that the ONE representative from your neighborhood or road/homeowners association will submit when the chipping is complete. Neighborhoods MUST hire a California licensed contractor to complete the work. Check to make sure you contractor’s license is current (we are required to do this before we submit the invoice). https://www.cslb.ca.gov/onlineservices/checklicenseII/checklicense.aspx

There MUST be at least eight (8) participating properties. Once confirmation of your application is made, chipping must be completed, and the reimbursement forms submitted within 30 days. The reimbursement check will be sent to the association or the individual who submits the application and W-9, and it is up to them to distribute funds accordingly. If the chipping or the reimbursement form is not completed and submitted to the RCD within 30 days of your application, the neighborhood will not be eligible for reimbursement and funds will be made available to another applicant on the waiting list. NO LATE REIMBURSMENTS FORMS CAN BE ACCEPTED.

RCD will reimburse up to $250.00 per household participating in creating defensible space around their structures and up to $1.00 per linear foot of private road vegetation maintained. Reimbursement CAN NOT exceed the cost of the chipping and particpants can not be reimbursed for their time. Reimbursements will not be accepted for public roads.

Grant funds for this program are dependent on in-kind contributions from landowners in the form of time spent clearing vegetation for defensible space, preparing piles and organizing chipping. Neighborhoods should keep track of their time and submit it with their reimbursement form.

How do I sign up and get reimbursed?

Signups are first-come-first serve, and spots are limited. Be sure to coordinate with your neighborhood and schedule a California licensed contractor to come and chip your material before signing up to ensure you do not miss the 30-day spot holding period.

STEP 1: Submit a request on the Sign Up Form. A Private Road Association or an individual representing neighborhood (of at least 8 households) will submit one (1) Sign Up Form for the Neighborhood Chipping Reimbursement Program.

STEP 2: You have 30 days from when you sign up to submit the Reimbursement Packet. Please submit the Reimbursement Packet to the email. The Reimbursement Packet consists of:

  1. pdfReimbursement form,
    1. All the addresses of participating neighbors,
    2. The dates of the vegetation clearing and/or maintenance was conducted,
    3. Time your staff or volunteers spent doing the planning and clearing of defensible space
  2. pdfW-9 form for the association or individual who will receive the reimbursement
  3. The receipt from a licensed contractor, and Proof of Payment (a copy of a cancelled check or credit card statement). Reimbursment can not exceed the cost of chipping. Dates of service and the type of work completed must be itemized on the receipt with chipping listed as a service. The RCD can only reimburse for chipping. Now clearing or other preparation work is covered.
  4. Attach one to two photos of before you cleared and after.

If your neighborhood is unable to complete the chipping or fails to submit the Reimbursement Packet within 30 days of signing up for the Fall Chipping, you will NOT be ineligible for reimbursement and your spot will be available to the next neighborhood applicant.

Fall 2021 Chipping MUST occur between August 23th and October 30th. Following this date, no neighborhoods will be eligible for reimbursement. Late applications will NOT be accepted. Reimbursement is designed to incentivize landowners to maintain their defensible space, and therefor may not be cover all the cost to chip each households vegetative material. 

Wildland Urban Interface Map

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