Letter - Storm-aid package approvedWe expeditiously wrapped up business on the House floor last Friday, August 24, by a vote of 125-3, where we conducted a brief special session in order to provide relief for areas damaged by flooding and high winds this summer.
To the editor:
We expeditiously wrapped up business on the House floor last Friday, August 24, by a vote of 125-3, where we conducted a brief special session in order to provide relief for areas damaged by flooding and high winds this summer.
The relief is a two-part package at a combined total of $167.5 million to assist in recovery/rebuilding efforts. This will help counties, cities, citizens and small businesses that were damaged. It was important to conduct this session now, particularly so the 40 rivers and streams that flooded and caused property/erosion damage, can have work begin this fall. Homes and buildings need to be made habitable again before winter arrives.
One part of the bill provides $159.6 million to help recovery efforts following storms and flooding that occurred on or after June 14. This applies to counties included in the Presidential Declaration of a Major Disaster. The list includes Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Crow Wing, Dakota, Goodhue, Kandiyohi, Lake, Meeker, Pine, Rice, Sibley and St. Louis counties, and to the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.
The other funding pot provides $7.8 million to help counties recover from a July 2 windstorm. These counties include Beltrami, Clearwater, Hubbard, Itasca, Koochiching, St. Louis and Cass, and to the Leech Lake and Bois Forte bands of Ojibwe.
There is language in the bill to make sure the money is spent on projects specifically pertaining to recovery and/or rebuilding; this money cannot be used for additional projects. Also, any money that goes unused will be sent back to the state.
Rep. Torrey Westrom
Elbow Lake, MN