ROCHESTER, Minn. -- More than $7 million in federal Public Assistance funds has been made available to help state and local governments and private nonprofit organizations pay for disaster-related response and repairs as a result of August's severe storms and flooding, according to officials from Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
"Public Assistance helps restore communities to pre-disaster conditions, helping to restore vital services and infrastructure that affect the overall quality of life," said Federal Coordinating Officer Carlos Mitchell. "These vital funds will help Minnesota communities along their road to recovery."
Public Assistance helps to repair damaged infrastructure and reimburse for emergency measures taken in the wake of a disaster. Eight Minnesota counties are eligible for Public Assistance funds: Dodge, Fillmore, Houston, Jackson, Olmsted, Steele, Wabasha and Winona.
To date, $7,419,349 has been obligated for Public Assistance projects. The numbers rounded to the nearest dollar as of Oct. 25 are:
State Agencies $893,096
Dodge County $225,305
Eligible applicants for Public Assistance include state, county and local governments and some private nonprofits such as educational and medical institutions. Public Assistance is provided on a cost-sharing basis, with FEMA providing 75 percent of the eligible expenses and state and local governments funding the remaining 25 percent.
Public Assistance is available for debris removal and disposal, and disaster-related emergency services that protect lives and public property from further damage, such as shelter operations and emergency-responder overtime. Public Assistance also helps to repair or replace damaged public facilities, such as:
Public roads and bridges not on the Federal Aid System;
Public water control facilities, including dams and drainage channels;
Public utilities such as water treatment, sewage treatment and electrical;
Public buildings such as police and fire stations, libraries and public office buildings, including their vehicles and contents; and
Public parks and recreation facilities, including playgrounds, swimming pools, tennis courts, golf courses, ball fields and boat ramps.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.