DOLA Recovery Overview

Colorado Disaster Recovery

Inventory of Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) Resources

“All Disasters Occur at the Local Level”

About DOLA

For many communities throughout Colorado, the Department of Local Affairs is the "face of state government" — that initial and primary point of contact where local communities work in partnership with the state. Our department's mission statement, "Strengthening Colorado Communities," exemplifies the level of responsiveness and attentiveness that lies at the heart of our services.

Through financial and technical assistance, and programs addressing affordable housing and homelessness, and property tax administration; our department works in cooperation with local communities.

DOLA delivers disaster recovery services through its Division of Local Government and Division of Housing.  Additional recovery services also are provided through its Division of Property Taxation.

Following is a summary of services offered by DOLA for disaster recovery:

Division of Local Government:

  • Technical Assistance: The Technical Assistance staff can help impacted local governments in evaluating budget needs, statutory requirements, financial analysis, and TABOR and Gallagher implications. The Technical Assistance staff also include a public utilities specialist with extensive knowledge of water and wastewater infrastructure and needs.
  • Financial Assistance: DOLA has several grant programs to assist with the costs associated with  recovery.  The Emergency Fund is the most efficient source of funding available, and can assist with the most immediate needs.  DOLA has other grant programs as well including Community Development Block Grants and Energy Mineral Impact grants.
  • Demographic Information: The State Demographer can help communities in their ongoing planning efforts by evaluating demographic data and economic trends taking into consideration changing circumstances brought on by a disaster.
  • Community Development: The Community Development staff can assist impacted communities with land use planning, economic development, and sustainable and community development needs.
  • Field Services: DOLA has twelve Regional Managers and Assistants that live and work throughout the State.  The field staff are the Department’s on the ground resource.  Field staff have an intimate knowledge of the community’s needs, and have strong relationships with elected officials and staff of each community.  Field Staff are responsible for helping impacted communities identify and prioritize their needs, and then work to connect each community with resources within DOLA, other State agencies, and outside organizations.  They also offer direct support to the communities.

Division of Housing:

The Division  of Housing works with public housing authorities and local housing providers to identify interim and longer term housing solutions by connecting disaster victims to available housing units.  The Division of Housing partners with local communities to identify long-term housing strategies in the rebuilding process. 

Division of Property Taxation: 

DOLA's Division of Property Taxation assists  local assessors in impacted counties with questions about how to appropriately adjust the values of damaged or destroyed properties.

What DOLA Brings to the Table During Recovery

DOLA has extensive local government experience and knowledge that enables staff to hit the ground running.  DOLA’s role in working with local government is to help find solutions and resources that address the local governments priorities and needs.  DOLA may help a community identify financial resources, assist with writing grants, evaluate budgets, facilitate priority setting work sessions, or provide staffing support as examples.  Ensuring continuity of local governance is a primary concern and focus, as well as supporting long-term planning efforts.

DOLA's Role in Supporting Local Governments

Colorado is a local control state.  As such, DOLA’s role in addressing recovery is to support the local decision making process, and to assist as requested by the local governments. DOLA is able to provide as much or as little assistance needed by communities during the recovery phase. This includes assisting local officials in establishing a Disaster Assistance Center (DAC), providing government administration support, assistance in identifying priorities, and identifying the data and resources needed throughout the long term recovery phase (economic development, infrastructure improvements, comprehensive planning support).  

Examples of Past Recovery Assistance and Outcomes

Limon:  Following the tornado in Limon in 1990, DOLA first assisted Limon in developing a community vision for how the community would recover after the disaster.  Town Hall and much of Limon’s commercial property was destroyed or damaged.  DOLA provided financial assistance to Limon to rebuild town hall and redesign main street, two of the main priorities identified by the community.


Windsor:  DOLA assisted Windsor with developing a strategy for downtown and has supported implementation of that vision to fix damage to downtown Windsor following a tornado in 2008.  Technical assistance was provided to help Windsor set up a Downtown Development Authority as both a funding and organizational solution to address damage to downtown.  Funding was also provided to improve entry ways into the community, and to rebuild town hall and the police department.


Holly:  Following a tornado in Holly in 2007, DOLA assisted residents and the community in addressing short and long-term housing needs.  Technical and financial assistance was provided in redesigning and repairing community parks, downtown, and basic infrastructure such as the Holly sewer system.

Recovery Process

FEMA Intergovernmental Affairs (IGA) Fact Packet

Community Updates

Jamestown is working hard to complete its stream master plan and lift its development moratorium before the end of January. To that end, the town holds weekly working group meetings with its advisory committee, FEMA, DOLA and professional volunteers (representing American Planning Association, Urban Land Institute, and Colorado Bar Association). The town board holds meetings nearly every Tuesday evening to take actions to progress toward building a more resilient future.
Lyons held its long term recovery action plan community kick off meeting in December. Now the town is working with topic-specific recovery teams (made up of residents, existing volunteer board and commission members and stakeholders) to develop an action plan before the end of March 2014. DOLA and FEMA are working with volunteers and stakeholders to support the town in its efforts to rebuild stronger and more sustainable.
Larimer, Boulder and Weld counties hold regular long term recovery meetings to coordinate the myriad elements that must be considered, from housing and infrastructure to natural and cultural resources and parks and recreation.

Governor John W. Hickenlooper Recovery Conference Call with Local Officials

Demographic Data

Demographic and Economic Information

  • Wage and salary jobs, age of worker, earnings, industries and commuting by county and census county divisions for Boulder, Larimer, Logan, Morgan and Weld counties
  • Regional Profiles Narrative and charts of summary economic and demographic conditions by region
  • Flood Maps by County with data on Household Income, Mobile Housing Units, Pop Density and Rental Rates