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Santa Barbara County Comes Up With Spending Plan For $28 Million Dollar Settlement From Thomas Fire

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Thomas Fire burning near Faria Beach in December of 2017

Santa Barbara County has figured out how it’s going to use a $28 million dollar settlement from a utility company related to the massive Thomas brush fire, and Montecito debris flow. Southern California Edison reached a number of settlements with government agencies over costs incurred as a result of the disaster, because of the role the company’s equipment was believed to have played in the start of the blaze.

The blaze stripped the mountains above Montecito, setting the stage for the deadly January, 2018 debris flow. More than $10 million dollars will fund around 60 road repair projects in the Montecito area. Another two million dollars will go to flood control projects.

Nearly eight million dollars has been allocated to the general fund, with an emphasis on emergency preparedness.

And, as a result of the plan approved by Santa Barbara County Supervisors, $8 million of the $28 million dollars will be set aside for potential legal issues related to the settlement.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.