Ten counties to receive relief following July storm damage
ST. PAUL – Aitkin and Crow Wing are among 10 Minnesota counties set to receive a combined $5.5 million in relief from the State Public Disaster Assistance Contingency Account after severe thunderstorms caused significant public property damage between July 9 and July 11.
Gov. Mark Dayton issued a letter to Minnesota’s Homeland Security & Emergency Management Division on Tuesday to authorize the funding. Benton, Carlton, Kanabec, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, and Traverse counties also were included in the governor’s declaration.
A series of strong storms pummeled Central Minnesota during that three-day period in July. The storms included extreme rain fall amounts, high winds and serious flooding causing major damage to area roads.
“This is good news as this will offset a major portion of the cost of the storm damage and recovery efforts borne by our counties, townships and small cities,” said Rep. Dale Lueck, R-Aitkin. “Our local units of government and utility companies did a great job in getting things back to normal after a major rodeo with some very nasty weather.”
“In past years the governor would have had to call a special session to deal with this kind of issue. Recently the legislature created and began funding the State Public Disaster Assistance Contingency Account which allows for a more timely response to these kinds of events. It important that we keep the red tape to a minimum and let our public officials stay focused on restoring our roads, bridges and public utilities.”
State public disaster contingency funds kick in when public infrastructure damage within a county reaches 50 percent of a predetermined amount based on a formula that accounts for the population of the county (county population x $3.56).
Once the damage level reaches or exceeds 50 percent of the counties’ individual damage threshold, then 75 percent of eligible costs for public infrastructure repairs and clean-up may be reimbursed by the state, with local units of government picking up the 25 percent.