Gov. Dayton proposes $190 million in flood relief
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has outlined what he says is needed to repair storm-damaged areas of central and northeastern Minnesota following major storms that pummeled infrastructure, businesses and private homes. Cost? An estimated $190 million.
On top of the $190 million, another $7.9 million will be included for windstorm damage to trees, parks and power lines.
It gets kind of sticky, but Federal Emergency Management
Agency (FEMA) has offered to pony up $26 million. Dayton proposes to match that with state funds. Under his proposal, no local government funds would be necessary.
Dayton’s office stated that there would be $82 million for major repairs to Highways 210 and 23. (Some of these funds may be recouped eventually from federal highway allocations.)
The governor’s plan would establish $20 million to repair businesses with damages sustained during the storms.
Some $12.2 million would be set aside for repairing damaged homes.
Another $10 million of the $190 million would be used to repair parks and trails. On top of that $2 million would be used to clean up public waters that were inundated with debris and sediment following the storms.
Dayton’s aggressive approach to helping areas of the state hit by these major storms has met with some opposition. However, when the state is willing to pony up nearly $500 million to build a new home for the Minnesota Vikings that will enrich an already wealthy Vikings’ team owner.
I believe this proposal might be one of the governor’s best proposals. After all, it is offering a helping hand to residents of the great state of Minnesota who were in the cross-hairs of a once-in-a-lifetime brutal act of nature.
Perhaps the governor’s proposal will seem exorbitant to some. However, the extent of the damage included 50 to 100-foot gaping holes in Highway 210. Landslides occurred causing major damage to homes, businesses and government property.
Is the governor right in proposing this expenditure? I guess the Legislature will figure all of that out when and if the governor calls for a special session in the coming weeks.