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July storms put the co. in disaster declaration by Obama

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news Willmar, 56201
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

WILLMAR -- Damage to power lines from storms that ripped through southern Kandiyohi County the first week of July are included in a recent presidential disaster declaration.

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Don Ericson, Kandiyohi County emergency management director, said 14 counties were included in the designated area, including three townships in the southern part of the county near the Lake Lillian area.

Power li-nes owned by Meeker Cooperative Light and Power we-re damaged in the July 1 storm, said Ericson in a report this week to the County Board of Commissioners. In Kandiyohi County alone, the damage to the power line was $158,000. The damage extended into Meeker County as well.

In Kandiyohi County, there is a threshold of $138,000 in damages that needs to be met to qualify for the federal disaster declaration.

Ericson said there have been a lot of storms this summer in the county, but most have not caused enough damage to reach the financial threshold.

The statewide threshold is $6.8 million. By the time the July 28 declaration had been approved, there was $19 million in statewide storm damage, said Ericson.

This week's storm in Pope County that caused widespread damage in the areas around Glenwood and Lowry happened after the declaration had been approved.

"It's been a weather year," Ericson said.

In other action:

- The commissioners heard a report about the Southwest Initiative Foundation, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and from the United Way of West Central Minnesota, about programs and grants that help community organizations and individuals.

nLaura Lindeman, from the Kandiyohi County Drug-Free Coalition, read a letter praising Sheriff Dan Hartog for his involvement in county-wide efforts to curb under-age drinking and discourage adults from providing alcohol to minors, as well as helping to install a permanent prescription and over-the-counter drug drop box.

- A contract was approved to provide a sheriff to the New London-Spicer School District on a full-time basis during the school year. The district will reimburse the county $52,718.

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