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Dayton seeks funding for Georgetown flood protection

ST. PAUL - The Dayton administration wants $3 million to protect a 129-person town from future floods.

Gov. Mark Dayton visited Georgetown, north of Moorhead, last Saturday and on Thursday he amended an earlier public works proposal to include the new request. The new $3 million is on top of $28 million Dayton already recommends for flood prevention in many areas of the state, especially around the Red River Valley.

The Georgetown money would fund land purchase and a dike around the town.

When Dayton visited Georgetown on Saturday, along with U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, roads remained open. But the community soon was surrounded by muddy water from the Buffalo River.

The community has erected temporary dikes most recent years to fight floods.

Dayton has requested that lawmakers pass a $1 billion publics works bill, funded by the state selling bonds, that includes flood prevention efforts.

"The governor has not said he is placing a higher priority on flood issues; the entire proposed bonding bill is a priority for him," Dayton spokeswoman Katharine Tinucci said.

Republicans who hold legislative majorities oppose a big bonding bill and many leaders question the need for any bonding bill this year. Besides flood efforts, a bonding bill would finance a range of projects ranging from repairing college roofs to expanding state parks.

There has been talk of passing a flood-only bonding bill, but no decision has been made.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.
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