Cass County qualifies for FEMA funds | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

Cass County qualifies for FEMA funds

Posted: July 30, 2012 - 10:36pm

WALKER — Cass County will qualify for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding for repairs to public infrastructure resulting from June 20 storm damage, Kerry Swenson, county emergency services director, announced Monday.

He said the county was denied FEMA funding to reimburse the county for damage repairs to county roads resulting from a two-day downpour that hit the southern part of the county in May.

Still pending is the county’s FEMA application for reimbursements for infrastructure repairs needed following wind damage that accompanied another downpour July 2, primarily hitting northern and central Cass. Swenson said he hopes to receive a FEMA ruling on the July storm by the end of this week.

Though the areas hit received more rain volume in the May storm and more wind damage in the July storm than the one that hit central Cass in June, the June storm did more total damage to county roads, because more of the roads in central Cass are gravel surfaced and not paved like many southern Cass roads are, according to County Engineer David Enblom.

Enblom said earlier this month he expects the cost to put two inches of finished gravel on unpaved, repaired roads will cost the county another $2.3 million, a sum not anticipated when the county set the 2012 budget.

The repair work alone has used the county’s entire 2012 gravel stockpile.

Approval for FEMA funding for the June storm damage could mean FEMA will pay up to 75 percent of June storm public infrastructure repair costs for the county and affected townships.

Swenson said he is still waiting to hear from FEMA about whether approval for the county to receive infrastructure money for the June storm might mean businesses affected by that storm could qualify for low interest loans for storm damage repairs.

Swenson said he is hopeful Cass may qualify for some state reimbursements for these three storms if the Legislature meets in special session to address statewide storm damage costs.