Dayton proposes $190 million in state money for flood recovery

Gov. Mark Dayton has floated a proposal to spend a lot more state money than Republican lawmakers were expecting on recovery and rebuilding after devastating June flooding. A special legislative session to deal with flood relief issues is tentatively set for Aug. 24.
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The Dayton administration would like to spend nearly $190 million in state money to help rebuild public infrastructure after the devastating June floods in Duluth and northeastern Minnesota and in parts of central Minnesota, the Star Tribune reports.

Republican officials at a working group expressed concern about "sticker shock" for the costs, but DFLers representing the flooded areas said the amount is reasonable and possibly on the small side, the newspaper reports.

The $190 million would be in addition to $108 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

FEMA's $108 million contribution is estimated to cover 75 percent of the cost of making needed repairs to public – but not private – infrastructure damaged by flooding. That's why Republican lawmakers were expecting a state contribution of about $27 million, roughly 25 percent of the tab that FEMA wouldn't pay.

Forum Communications' Capitol Chatter feature has a breakdown of how the $190 million might be spent.

“I didn’t make this number up,” Dayton said Tuesday after giving a speech at Farmfest, an annual gathering of farmers near Redwood Falls, Forum reports.

Dayton said that he wants the higher figure but would negotiate with Republicans because “something is better than nothing.”

Minnesota lawmakers are penciling in Aug 24 as the date for a special session to discuss flood relief following devastating summer storms that hit the northeast part of the state, the Duluth News Tribune and Associated Press reports.

In other news, technology usually used in oceans will be planted in Lake Superior this week by University of Minnesota Duluth researchers, the News Tribune reports. Two "moored proofing platforms" will be placed on the bottom of the lake for year-round data collection and will help researchers track the effects of the June 20 flood on the lake.

MPR has more info about the platforms, as well as images.

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