Partnerships build community resilience

By Lorrie Worthey Mayor of Green Mountain Falls
Posted

GUEST COLUMN

The Waldo Canyon Fire tested El Paso and Teller counties, the Ute Pass Region and Colorado in ways that few had ever imagined. During this terrible crisis, Ute Pass communities, including Green Mountain Falls, came together to defend our homes and property from the ravages of a dangerous wildland fire. We watched in awe as our first responders held the lines and kept us safe.

This event made it necessary for Green Mountain Falls to take our inter-governmental relationship with El Paso County to a new level. Prior to the fire we worked together to help make the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority successful. Green Mountain Falls was an active participant in the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments as well as the Storm Water Task Force.

Relationships with our neighbors have always been something that we value. However, the fire brought those relationships to a new and different level. It tested our resources and it stretched us. During the fire, El Paso County stepped out and provided assistance to Green Mountain Falls when it was needed most. For that, we will always be grateful

Most believe the crisis is over when the fire has been contained. But the Hayman Fire and its post-fire impacts on infrastructure in the burn area remind us that recovery from the Waldo Canyon Fire is going to be a lengthy process.

To that end, we continue to work closely with our neighbors in both El Paso and Teller Counties. Green Mountain Falls will remain committed to serving our citizens.

It promises to be a tough summer for us here in the Ute Pass area. The potential for floods and fire can't be understated. Sustaining these inter-governmental relationships with our neighbors allows us to prepare together.

As we look toward the busy summer and fall seasons, it's important that our community builds upon the lessons learned from last year's disaster. Please let me know if you have ideas to share on how our town can be better prepared in the future.

Together, we are stronger and better able to serve the citizens of Green Mountain Falls.