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Old Colorado City locals frustrated with warming fire enforcement

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COLORADO SPRINGS -

“We feel like we’re under siege.” Resident, business owner, and Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN), Board Member, Linda Schlarb says that is the feeling of many locals on Colorado Springs west side. Many are speaking out and asking questions about current policies on dealing with homelessness. “Have gotten a little confused on the difference between helping and enabling.”

Schlarb has been running her Old Town Propane business for years. She says there are many times she has offered to help individuals who have approached here saying they are homeless. “It's not that we don't have a heart. I have a Colorado Springs Police Department Commander Citation that says otherwise for helping get some of these people off the street." The issue is the number of people ignoring offers for help who also ignore laws and common courtesy. One of the major concerns is warming fires. There has been a string that have gotten out of control. “This is very old section of Colorado Springs. A lot o the buildings and homes over here are 100 years or older. A fire starts and it’s going to spread like crazy over here.”

Many business owners and residents in the area are frustrated over city ordinances on camping, open fires, and private property rights. "[We] see that our law enforcement and our first responders' hands have been tied from somewhere. They're unable to enforce these ordinances and people just don't understand why." Schlarb arranged a public meeting with city leaders for clarification.

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