Flood recovery efforts get boost from Minnesota grantsNearly $6.9 million in state grants will help repair environmental damage this year from last June’s flooding.
By: Steve Kuchera, Duluth News Tribune
Nearly $6.9 million in state grants will help repair environmental damage this year from last June’s flooding.
And partners in the more than 175 projects are well-prepared to make as much progress as possible this coming construction season, Duluth Mayor Don Ness said Tuesday.
Ness made his comments Tuesday during a Duluth City Hall news conference designed to give an update on natural resources flood recovery efforts.
The Minnesota Recovers Task Force has authorized more than $6.86 million in grants for the projects in Duluth and seven Soil and Water Conservation Districts to help public and private landowners repair their properties this year.
Projects include a $500,000 effort to stabilize a section of Lake Superior shoreline threatening two homes; stabilizing 11 landslides near Jay Cooke State Park with native grasses and trees; and stabilizing stream banks in the Silver Bay municipal golf course.
“This is going to take some time to get back to where we were” before the flooding, said Board of Water and Soil Resources Executive Director John Jaschke.
The Phase II projects slated for this year are a continuation of flood relief efforts begun last year.
Within weeks of June’s flooding, lawmakers passed and Gov. Mark Dayton signed a $167 million disaster relief bill. To assist in flood recovery efforts, the Board of Water and Soil Resources received $11 million to implement erosion, sediment control and water quality protection projects. Part of that money was allocated to local Soil and Water Conservation Districts for emergency projects.
Those emergency Phase I projects last year included stabilizing a Chester Creek bank that was threatening two homes; pumping out a Carlton County manure pit threatening to overflow into the Kettle River, and replacing a privately owned bridge over the Little Stewart River near Two Harbors.
One goal of the projects is to reduce the potential of damage in future floods.
Officials Tuesday used the Skunk Creek flood mitigation project in Two Harbors as an example. After a 1999 flood, the city and Lake County SWCD developed a storm water management plan. Officials credit the $350,000 project — which included stabilizing several hundred feet of stream bank and construction of a rain garden — with potentially preventing millions in flood damage last year.