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MN Legislature Meets to Consider Flood Aid

October 18, 2010

The Fargo Forum‘s Capitol Chatter blog/column notes that the Special Session of the Legislature called by Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is opening today:

Minnesota legislators are returning to St. Paul today with a goal of appropriating $80 million to help communities hit by floods and tornadoes.

Most of the money would go to southern Minnesotans who endured floods last month, but $6.6 million is set aside for Wanda WADENA and other areas affected by a June 17 tornado outbreak….

Much of the funding is to match federal money that is to pay 75 percent of costs to repair or replace public facilities ranging from buildings to roads to debris removal. There also are funds in the bill, which legislative leaders and Pawlenty agreed to last week, to help schools that face the prospect of fewer students and higher transportation costs from the disasters, as well as tax breaks and deadline extensions for some of those affected.

Apparently, testimony ran to the emotional as legislators considered the aid request.

Zumbro Falls Mayor Alan VanDeWalker’s voice cracked as he told a Senate committee this morning about last month’s flood.

“This has basically wiped out my town,” the 20-year veteran mayor said as state lawmakers began to look into funding disaster relief for southern Minnesota floods and a June 17 tornado outbreak.

All businesses in the southeast Minnesota community were wiped out, along with half of the homes.

Once again we’re reminded of the importance of mitigating these hazards before they occur.

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From → Natural Hazards

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