Brainerd storm damage, Mille Lacs could get special session

Governor Mark Dayton said Wednesday he and a working group of lawmakers plan to meet next week to talk about a potential Mille Lacs tourism relief package and to address storm damage that pummeled northern Minnesota this month.

Dayton said it’s conceivable that a special legislative session could be called to deal with both, as a decision to shut down walleye fishing on Mille Lacs looms and damage estimates from July 12 storms are still trickling in. Dayton said it’s too early to determine a dollar amount for relief coverage at this time, Minnesota's Homeland Security and Emergency Management department sent officials to tour Cass, Crow Wing and Todd counties and count the costs. Crow Wing County is expected to exceed the $111,250 threshold to qualify for state assistance.

The Brainerd Dispatch reported Crow Wing County workers have spent about $220,000 clearing storm debris, and they're not even half way done. State money can't go to private citizens but can go to counties, cities and townships.

Ultimately, Dayton has the authority to hand out the funds, which reimburses up to 75 percent of eligible expenses.

DNR: Walleye season could close on Mille Lacs by Aug. 3

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