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Lack Of Transparency On Cost Of Marshall Fire Debris Removal Frustrating Agencies In Charge, Raising Questions

SUPERIOR, Colo. (CBS4) - The town of Superior's trustees are wondering why Boulder County won't tell them how much each part of the Marshall Fire debris removal process is going to cost, as victims of the Marshall Fire struggle to move forward. Neal Shah, a town trustee, has been trying to get the information and says it's needed for audits.

"We need to make sure we are being charged the right amount to the agreement and if we are being overcharged it is coming right out of the pockets of our residents," said Shah.

He says they need to know how much the heavy equipment, shovels and overtime will cost. The work has now moved from 6 to 7 days a week. Superior believes it's on the hook for $1 million to $2 million.

superior cleanup
(credit: CBS)

CBS4 submitted an open records request to Boulder County but got a response that said they can deny the right of inspection to trade secrets and confidential financial information.

The $60 million clean-up contract was awarded to DRC Emergency Services, but one of its competitors has gone to court and could potentially have the process stopped.

"That would be terrible because we really need to continue to have it moving forward but we also need the pocketbook of our residents protected," said Shah.

The fire was bad enough and the clean-up is adding salt to the wounds. Superior is also hearing complaints of a lack of detailed schedules for debris removal from homes.

That has led some people to go out and get the job done privately at their own expense.

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