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Legislative Report by Rep. Sandra Masin - July 10, 2014
Minnesota has taken an important step toward securing substantial resources to strengthen our ongoing disaster relief and recovery efforts after last month’s severe storms and flooding.
Governor Dayton on Wednesday requested a Presidential Disaster Declaration covering 51 total counties, including Dakota County.
In order to receive financial assistance from the federal government, damages from a natural disaster must meet a $7.3 million threshold. With $10.8 million in eligible damages documented through preliminary assessments to date and another $55 million in response costs and damages to uninsured public infrastructure reported by local governments, there is little doubt we can expect to receive significant aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) – something that President Obama underscored during his recent visit to Minnesota.
If granted by the President, the disaster declaration would provide assistance to townships, cities, counties, schools and certain private not-for-profit organizations for uninsured and eligible storm-related damage to public infrastructure.
Examples of eligible expenses include:
- Debris Removal
- Emergency Protective Services
- Repair or replacement of storm-damaged:
- Roads and Bridges
- Water control facilities
- Buildings and equipment
- Municipal utilities
- Parks and recreational facilities
If the President declares a major disaster, FEMA would fund three-quarters of the approved costs, with Minnesota covering the remaining quarter of the non-federal share.
Governor Dayton also requested federal funding for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. All counties in the state would be eligible to apply for assistance under this program which provides funding to state and local governments and certain private not-for-profit organizations to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural hazards.
Federal and state aid typically only covers costs to repair and replace uninsured public infrastructure, but financial assistance may still be possible for homeowners, renters and business owners from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). More information about SBA disaster loans is available online at www.sba.gov, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
or by phone at 800-659-2955.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if there is anything I can do to be of help during this time of tremendous need.