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Fillmore County flood damage exceed $2.6 million

Fri, Jul 5th, 2013
Posted in All Government

Fillmore County Emergency Management Director Kevin Beck reported to the county board at its July 2 meeting that the total public damage estimates for the county were $2,604,739.97. This figure did not include the repair of the ‘Choice’ Highway 43 bridge, which MnDot estimates will cost about $200,000.

Houston County public damage estimates are at $6.175 million. The total state damages for the June 20 through June 26 rain and flooding event are expected to exceed $10 million. Beck said he hated to say it, but was glad the damages are sufficient to meet the threshold to get FEMA involved. Any damages covered by insurance can not be included in the total.

Beck said the next step is for state and federal representatives to do a Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA). Representatives will be in the area on July 10 to verify the accuracy of the damage estimates. Assuming the total damages for this one event are confirmed to be north of $7.266 million, Governor Dayton can then request a disaster declaration from the President.

FEMA pays 75 percent and the other 25 percent is the responsibility of the local government. However, the state in the past has helped with this 25 percent. Chairman Randy Dahl said for some townships 25 percent could almost eat up their total levy for the year.

Norway Township was by far the hardest hit with estimated damages at nearly $560,000. Total damages for the townships is estimated to be $1,637,928.87. Total county damages are about $715,000. Mabel, Minn. had the most damages for a city, more than $90,000. Total city damages are estimated to be about $182,000.

Three bridges were washed out. One each in Holt, Carrolton, and Preble Townships.

County Engineer Ronald Gregg said until the water recedes, it is difficult to determine all the structural damages sustained by bridges.

The board approved a resolution that requests “the Governor of the State of Minnesota to petition the President of the United States to declare the County of Fillmore, Minnesota, to be a major disaster area.”

Veteran Services Officer Jason Marquardt reported that the Minnesota Department of Veteran Affairs is going to make grant funds available for flood affected counties including Fillmore County to help with repairs for veterans and their families who have damages due to the flooding. Each recipient can get up to $1,000.

County coordinator Karen Brown acknowledged that the threshold for federal aid will not be met for private property damages. Telephone numbers for private property owners to call for aid will be listed on the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page and on the county website.

Other Business In Brief

• Donna Rasmussen, SWCD, discussed the NRCS Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program. The program is aimed to help improve conditions caused by flooding that pose an imminent hazard for life and property in the future like debris, clogs, or erosion. The county would have to act as the local sponsor and would be responsible for 25 percent unless that portion could be covered by other disaster funding or passed on to the property owner.

Rasmussen noted they have had inquiries about damaged pond structures. She suggested some damages might not be noticeable until water recedes. The board had several questions about the program and how it would work with other federal funding. They decided to wait until they could get more information on the program and get an opinion from the county attorney.

• Approval was given to hire the following: Debra Leutink as replacement Eligibility Worker effective July 5, Scott Johnson as additional Eligibility Worker effective July 19, and Diane Strahl as additional Office Support Specialist effective July 5.

• Damage is to be analyzed on the new pavement on CSAH 24. Gregg said a couple of semi trucks went by the road closure signs for some distance and were forced to back out. The extent of the damage will be determined. Gregg stated that the contractor is responsible for protecting the pavement during the construction phase. Sheriff Jensen said damage information will be given to the county attorney.

• Randy Dahl congratulated Judge Matthew Opat who was sworn in on July 28.

• The resignation of Deputy Sheriff Les Ladewig was accepted with thanks for his six years of service. There will be an internal advertisement for his replacement.

• A proposal from Quality Construction for a sound barrier for the air conditioning unit at the county Office Building was approved. The total cost for material and labor is $4,150.

• A proposal from Sheldon Plumbing and Heating was approved at a cost of $1,090 to install a gas line at the Sheriff’s Office for backup heating in the newer addition to the jailhouse. Sheriff Jensen said it will be a more efficient heating source and could pay for itself over time.

• The purchase of a 2014 International Truck for a snow plow truck at a cost with trade of $92,583.18 plus tax was approved. The purchase of a crack filling kettle at a cost with trade of $41,226.00 plus tax was approved. Brent Kohn noted the county will save nearly $9,000 on the kettle purchasing it now before a scheduled price increase.

• The low bid from Traffic Marking, Maple Lake, was approved with a total cost of $44,712 for white road markings and $25,704 for yellow road markings.

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