El Paso County to buy out at-risk homes beneath Waldo Canyon burn scar

CASCADE, Colo. — El Paso County received grant money to buy out homeowners in the Ute Pass area that are continually impacted by flooding that comes off the Waldo Canyon burn scar.

A little over $1.2 million will be split up between four homeowners who continue to be at major risks from flooding.

This buyout process is several years in the making, which is frustrating for the homeowners.

“We kept anticipating that ‘well, in a few months everything will be approved,’ and then it didn’t happen,” said Tim Lange.

Lange and his family had given up on the process.

“We’ve had a number of assessors out here, we’ve had people doing surveys,” said Lange. “We’ve been hearing this is an imminent thing for a long time.”

Tom Harris is also one of the four homeowners.

“On the one hand we’re sad that we’re leaving our family home of 50-plus years, and on the other hand we’re excited that this process is close to being over, because it’s been very stressful,” said Harris.

With how the process has been, some homeowners are in a wait and see mode with the county.

“Even though the money has been approved I still have no indication of what an offer’s going to be, or a timeline from here to the end of this,” said Harris.

“We’re just going to wait and see what the offer is and then we’ll take it from there,” said Lange.

El Paso County is still looking into more grants to purchase other homes in the area that are at risk.

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