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I’m not sure how or why Ray Nutting qualified for grant money to pay for making his property fire-safe, but there is something very wrong here. Why is Mr. Nutting — or anyone else for that matter — not required to keep his property fire-safe at his own expense? If he cannot afford to keep up his property, he needs to sell it to someone who can and will, simple as that.
And it is even more egregious that the money went to his own company. In this day of the especially Republicans screaming “personal responsibility,” why do we give thousands and thousands of dollars to people such as Ray Nutting who are land-rich and well off? Time to take that grant money and put it to better use — not enrich those who know how to game the system.
Here’s a thought: Instead of charging homeowners in rural areas an additional fee for fire protection, use the “grant” money. Mr. Nutting should not only be made to return all money given to him to keep his property fire-safe, he should have to pay all expenses associated with the out-of-control fires on his property.