I am pleased to report that Minnesota has received $105 million in federal funds for the annual Energy Assistance Program. Our local agencies that administer the energy assistance program can now execute this year’s program. They are Lakes & Pines and Lutheran Social Services at Brainerd.
Earlier this week, I received information that individuals on limited, fixed incomes were cranking down their thermostats to uncomfortably low settings in order to reduce their monthly heating bill. I advised they reset those thermostats back to normal while we get the matter straightened out.
Our local agencies that administer the energy assistance program were unable to execute this year’s program until they had received the federal program funds. Happily, those funds have finally reached our local agencies after several phone calls and emails on that subject. Thank you for your patience on this matter.
The Energy Assistance Program is designed to help those on limited fixed incomes with winter heating assistance. Assistance is available for a variety of energy related issues including; assisting in paying a portion of the household's heating bills; assistance when energy assistance is no longer available; and emergency situations including helping repair or replace a failing furnace.
The Cuyuna Connection and Cuyuna Hills Backcountry Trail Project took a big step forward with the Crow Wing County Board’s recent approval of the project. The plan calls for about nine miles of new trail construction on county land and about 2 more miles on Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
The new trail area involves 800 acres of Crow Wing County-managed public land and more than 320 acres of Minnesota Department of Natural Resources-managed land.
The $670,000 project is privately funded through the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew Association with matching grant funds from the Hallett Charitable Trust Fund. Maintenance and monitoring of the recreational trail system will be the responsibility of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew, with oversight by the county land services department lands.
Despite the cold weather, the ice is not safe – be safe please stay clear.