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Community meeting in Shasta focuses on Carr Fire aftermath

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Shatsa residents who lost their homes in the Carr Fire voiced their frustrations during a community meeting at the Old Shasta Schoolhouse on Wednesday night.

Their anger stemmed from being billed for water even after their homes burned down.

Around 80 people attended the meeting.

The district members told the crowd the $27 fee they were charged was to reserve water for their lot, even if their home no long stood on it.

One attendee, Richard Hardie, said he was satisfied with the answers the district gave. Hardie's home did not burn down in the Carr Fire, but he is still facing a long recovery process.

"We finally, through insurance, we now have air conditioning and we have a refrigerator. So, (we're) no longer living out of ice chest," Hardie said.

Homeowners are not the only ones negatively impacted by the Carr Fire. The Shasta Fire Department has been forced to operate with a slashed budget as a result of the destruction. Shasta Fire Department Fire Chief Mark Todd explained.

"We've lost about 530 homes that are going to go from paying a regular property tax to a property tax on unapproved property. We're probably going to lose 50 percent maybe even 60 percent of our income until those houses are rebuilt," Todd said.

According to Todd, his department's call volume is likely to go down due to the loss of homes.

Fire crews have surveyed the Shasta area, shutting off water meters on damaged homes to prevent residents from being charged more than necessary.

Shasta residents who believe they were unfairly charged for water during the Carr Fire can file a claim by visiting the form section of the Shasta Community Services website, or by visiting their district office building at 1304 East Street in Redding.

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