(KCPW News) The U.S. Army has denied a reimbursement claim of more than $50,000 from Salt Lake County, which it submitted for costs related to the Machine Gun wildfire in Herriman a year ago. Mayor Peter Corroon says it’s an understatement to say he’s disappointed.
“I always was taught growing up if you make a mistake, you pay for it, and here, the federal government, the National Guard, it was a mistake they made, we recognize that and understand that, but there was a lot of effort to help them once the fire started, and they said they were going to pay for claims, and now we’ve been stiffed,” he tells KCPW.
The Utah National Guard acknowledged the fire started because of a shooting exercise that should not have taken place that day because of red-flag weather conditions.
Hoping to still get reimbursed, the county has now filed a notice of claim against the State of Utah and the Utah National Guard.
“We helped with our public works department, we also had our animal services and aging services out there, I mean there were horses and dogs and cats that needed to be protected, and so we did our best to step in and step up to the plate and help, and we’d just like the feds to step up and reimburse us for our help,” says the mayor.
Corroon says the county hasn’t decided whether it will also appeal the Army’s denial in federal court.