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Disaster Relief Bill information
October 23, 2010
On October 18th, legislators convened a special legislative session to address the state’s flood relief needs. I wanted to share with some information on the Disaster Relief Bill.
This special session is one of the fastest responses to a disaster our state has seen. We moved quickly to assess the damage and provide state and federal emergency resources to help our communities replace essential services like highways, bridges and local utilities.
On October 13, 2010, President Obama issued a Federal Disaster Declaration for 21 counties, including Blue Earth, Cottonwood, Dodge, Faribault, Freeborn, Goodhue, Jackson, Lincoln, Lyon, Martin, Mower, Murray, Olmsted, Pipestone, Rice, Rock, Steele, Wabasha, Waseca, Watonwan, and Winona. FEMA will reimburse 75% of the eligible loss and the remaining 25% will come from the state or other non-federal sources.
The legislation we passed today will provide timely assistance to help rebuild the homes and businesses of Minnesota families residing in areas designated in the federal disaster declarations issued in response to the June tornadoes and the September flooding.
Relief will be extended in several ways:
- Quick Start forgivable, no-interest loans to homeowners with flood damages for repair of new construction.
- Grants to businesses and farmers who suffered damage.
- Assistance for debris removal as well as repair and replacement of damaged public buildings and utilities.
- Funds dedicated to repair rural roads and bridges that were washed away or heavily damaged in the floods.
- DNR will receive funds to clean up waterways and other hazardous areas.
- Money will also be allocated to acquire easements from landowners on marginal lands to protect soil and water quality and support fish and wildlife habitat.
Please continue to contact me with your questions, suggestions and ideas. I always appreciate your input.