COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Residents coming back to homes rebuilt after the Waldo Canyon fire continue to get personal welcomes from the First Couple of Colorado Springs.
On Saturday Mayor Steve Bach and his wife, Suzi Bach, gave gift baskets to 10 homeowners as gifts, thanking them for returning to the area and rebuilding.
"We have bread so that you will never know hunger; salt, so that your life will always have flavor; and wine, so that joy and prosperity will always be with you," said Suzi Bach as she explained the contents of the baskets.
Local businesses donated the baskets.
"I thought maybe it was a little cheesy when I first heard about it," said Meluso. "But I really think it was kind of special for him to take the time."
Bach called the returning homeowners "brave and courageous."
"These folks have been through a lot," he said. "We're just glad to see them back home. It's really invigorating to me."
Bob Cutter of Colorado Springs Together, a fire recovery organization, said 150 of the 347 destroyed homes have been rebuilt, with building permits in place for 90 more.
"This is secretly what I hoped would happen," he said. "To actually see it become a reality is incredibly rewarding."
Cutter said he believes 80 percent of the original homeowners will rebuild, while the remaining 20 percent will sell their lots to builders for more new homes.