ST. PAUL, Minn. – Monday’s special session delivered needed relief funding for 18 counties recognized by FEMA as disaster areas. However, Rice County was not among those counties, despite having suffered significant damage in the storm event in mid-July. The County did not qualify for the emergency relief funding, but the damage is still more than local government units can handle individually.
“The damage done to the communities in Rice County was wide-ranging and in some areas devastating,” said Senator Kevin Dahle (DFL-Northfield). “In Northfield Township, 150th street was completely washed out from the storms, and could face as much as $250,000 in costs repairing it. This is beyond their ability to pay, so the state needs to step in and help these communities recover.”
During the special session, funding was not possible for any counties not included in the federally-recognized 18 counties. Senator Dahle has committed to finding a way for these affected communities to get state assistance during the upcoming session.
“We are investigating avenues for relief at the request of local governments, and I’m working hard with leadership to find a solution, including a non-FEMA disaster relief bill in February. We will continue to work to find the best possible outlets and are hopeful that the state will provide relief to our area soon,” added Dahle.
A public hearing on disaster-related issues in Rice county is being planned for before the start of session in February, to ensure that all stakeholders are able to voice their concerns.
To contact Senator Kevin Dahle for this or any other legislative concerns, he can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (651) 296-1279.