Oregon Congressman Greg Walden says he's "furious" over how the Federal Emergency Management Agency is treating Deschutes County in a dispute over how fire prevention dollars were applied.
For several years the county was given grants to help rural landowners clear dangerous shrubs, weeds and other debris from their property.
Instead of paying for contractors to come to each property - the county created drop off sites and were able to stretch the money so it covered ten times the amount of acreage.
At one point FEMA had agreed to allow the county its creative use of the funds without asking for a partial refund or jeopardizing future fire prevention grant money.
But Walden says talks seem to be stalled again. Walden was in Bend on Friday and stopped by our 1110 KBND studios. hey may may be back to the that
"I CALLED THE HEAD OF FEMA- WE WORKED THROUGH IT WE HAD IT ALL THE WAY DONE AND ONE PART OF THE AGENCY SEEM TO UNDERSTAND AND GET A LITTLE BIT OF COMMON SENSE- and now there's another part of the agency that doesn't get it and now we have to start all over again -I'M FURIOUS - JUST FURIOUS. II MAKES NO SENSE IN THESE TIMES WHEN THE GOVERNMENT IS BROKE. WE SHOULDN'T HAVE bureaucrats sitting in their comfortable offices second guessing when someones done a good job on the ground!"
FEMA says the county had not done enough to prove the collection spots wouldn't hurt the environment. A 2010 grant for Deschutes, Crook and Klamath Counties is for 3 million dollars in clearing work and commissioner Tammy Baney says she doesn't know if they should accept the money until this issue is resolved.