ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Recovers Task Force, which is administered by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) will work with state agencies to distribute funds included in the disaster relief bill passed August 24, during a special session of the Minnesota Legislature.
The disaster relief bill includes $25 million in state funds to match FEMA Public Assistance funds to repair public infrastructure for the federally declared disaster area which includes 15 counties and three tribal nations. The bill also includes $7.8 million to assist counties affected by a windstorm July 2-4. HSEM will administer $5.8 million for debris removal, power line repair and emergency services. The Department of Natural Resources received $2 million for reforestation and salvage timber sales.
The Minnesota Recovers Task Force works with state agencies who reach out to local units of government and tribal communities which apply on behalf of individuals, businesses and certain private not for profit organizations. The Minnesota Recovers Task Force ensures applicants meet the eligibility criteria to receive state assistance funds. Application information will be available and updated on www.minnesotarecovers.org
- The bill includes the following funding:
Department of Public Safety
• $500,000 for debris removal and disposal in the federally declared disaster area.
• $500,000 Long-term Recovery Assistance in the federally declared disaster area.
Department of Health
• $565,000 for behavioral health and affected water systems.
Department of Education
• $761,000 for enrollment impact aid and disaster relief facilities grants.
- Public Facilities Authority
• $6 million for infrastructure repair not covered under the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Minnesota Board of Water & Soil Resources
• Up to $12.5 million to repair flood-damaged land, streams and related infrastructure.
Department of Agriculture
• $600,000 for farm assistance.
Department of Natural Resources
• $18.85 million for damage, debris removal and flood hazard mitigation.
Department of Employment and Economic Development
• $15 million for the Minnesota Investment Fund to aid business owners.
- Department of Transportation
• $79 million for state trunk highways and bridges, local road and bridge reconstruction.
Minnesota Housing Finance Agency
• $12.2 million for the Quick Start Disaster Recovery Program which provides a no-interest loan of up to $30,000 for home repair. The loan is forgiven if the homeowner remains in the home for 10 years.
Homeowners in Aitkin, Carlton, Itasca, Lake, Pine and St. Louis counties and the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa who want to apply for a Quick Start loan must first apply for a Small Business Administration loan, by October 15, 2012. The SBA is currently operating Disaster Loan Outreach Centers in three areas. The centers’ locations and hours of operation are:
Carlton County –
9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Aug. 27- 29
Barnum Community Center
3753 Front Street
St. Louis County
9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Aug. 27-29
Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center
350 Harbor Drive
Homeowners, business owners and renters may also apply online and by phone. Go to www.sba.gov or call 1 (800) 659-2955 for more information.
Residents with damage in the following counties and tribal lands where SBA assistance is not available may apply directly for Quick Start loan assistance: Cass, Cook, Crow Wing, Dakota, Goodhue, Kandiyohi, Meeker, Rice, Sibley and Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, and Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. For more information and details on how to apply for Quick Start go to: http://www.mnhousing.gov/idc/groups/administration/documents/webcontent/mhfa_013038.pdf
About Minnesota Recovers Task Force
The Minnesota Recovers Task Force was created to provide a one-stop-shop for local governments to seek recovery assistance following a disaster. A local community may learn they are not eligible for federal assistance or that federal assistance has not become available for that particular disaster. If state funds become available, usually through legislative appropriations, impacted communities could apply to the Task Force. Their applications would be reviewed and submitted to the appropriate sub-committee which would then determine what recovery program would best apply to that application.
Several factors are considered when funding determinations are made:
• The amount of appropriations which are available
• Sufficient information is provided in the application
• The timeliness of the application