For more information contact: Jenny Nash 651-296-4122
ST. PAUL, MN – Today, the Minnesota Legislature approved a $180 million disaster relief package for flood recovery efforts in Duluth and Northern Minnesota. Contained in the package was individual assistance for homeowners and businesses. The package passed on an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 125 to 3. Appropriations in the bill were based on extensive damage assessments conducted by local, state, and federal emergency management officials.
The relief package includes:
· $79 million for transportation infrastructure including highway, bridge and road reconstruction and repairs;
· $26 million for the 25% state and local match for FEMA public assistance;
· $22 million to the Department of Natural Resources for facility and natural resource repairs and flood hazard mitigation;
· $15 million for employment and economic development business loans through the Minnesota Investment Fund;
· $12.2 million to the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency's Challenge Program for loans to homeowners for damaged structures and to replace essential items like furnaces and hot water heaters.
A combination of budget reserves, general fund dollars, canceled previous disaster appropriations, General Obligation and Trunk Highway bonds make up the aid in the package.
State Representative Mary Murphy (DFL-Hermantown) issued the following statement:
“Today, the state proved once again to be a reliable and trusted partner when it comes to helping devastated communities recover in the aftermath of a major natural disaster. Aiding those whose lives have been turned upside down from a catastrophe is a Minnesota tradition.
My goal was to ensure the disaster relief package was big enough to repair destroyed public infrastructure and provide homeowners and businesses with access to state assistance to replace flood damaged items. This package should help residents pick up the pieces. Funding levels were based on extensive assessments conducted by experienced state agency and federal emergency management officials. The state resources appropriated in the legislation should go a long way in helping our disaster stricken communities rebuild after flooding of an epic proportion.
Affected individuals should continue to pursue and file for Small Business Administration loans at the Disaster Loan Outreach Centers. In St. Louis County the Outreach Center is located at DECC, 350 Harbor Drive, and in Carlton County at the Barnum Community Center, 3753 Front Street, and the Barnum High School, 3675 County Road 140. Centers are open from 9 am to 5:30 pm weekdays and 10 am to 2 pm on Saturday.”
Governor Dayton is expected to promptly sign the legislation.
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