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Bastrop County pushes to remove debris, dead trees

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In Bastrop County, crews are picking up the pace of debris and dead tree clearing.
Violation notices are being sent out as the county's "clean sweep," begins its final stages.

It’s part of an effort to clear weakened trees that could fall in the right-of-way, and state law mandates the county to send out violation notices.

"If you're doing one or two, you don't realize how much time it takes,” Bastrop County Engineer Ronnie Moore said. “But when you're sending out almost 3,000, it's a tremendous undertaking."

Of the 3,000 violations the county has sent out, at least 800 have been returned. Many residents never returned to their property after the wildfire destroyed their homes.

One property owner told YNN she and her husband are spending their savings to mediate their land, and were shocked they received a violation.

"It seems very hard when we're trying to recoup our land and our home, and in the same day, get served a certified letter from the county," Terry Champagne said.

The notice warns landowners of penalties if debris is not cleared. Moore says folks like the Champagnes have nothing to worry about. The letters are a formality to allow workers access to private property to do the work.

Champagne said the county's warning was a kick in the stomach, because the family has already shelled out almost $70,000 to recover from the fire.

"I have this really bad taste," she said. "I've been a taxpayer all my life. My husband and I believe in the system, or have, until this tragedy."

Click here for all of Bastrop County’s disaster relief information.

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