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Published January 12, 2012, 05:32 PM

Ramsey Co. Officials Say State Aid Not Enough

DEVILS LAKE (WDAZ-TV) - Ramsey County Commissioners formed two committees today to divide up more than $6 million in state aid expected to come soon

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

DEVILS LAKE (WDAZ-TV) - Ramsey County Commissioners formed two committees today to divide up more than $6 million in state aid expected to come soon.

The funds come from a State Senate bill passed during last year's special session.

The smaller fund is for individual assistance. County Emergency Manager Kristen Nelsen says it will likely be used to help people repair sewer.

She says, "And that was based on the number of individuals that applied for IAA during this past year, and it was divided amongst, so Ramsey County received just over $80,000."

The larger aid package comes from $30 million earmarked for statewide disaster aid.

Ramsey County's share should be about $6 million for road repairs. But some officials like County Commissioner Joe Belford say they wish it was more.

"It's not near enough of what we need."

He's on committees in charge of both funds, and he says fixing all of the county's roads with the aid money is impossible.

"The cost of working with roads around the lake, because they all have to rip wrap the rock, wave action, and they're hauling rock in as far as 100 miles away. It's very, very expensive to do the road work", explains Belford.

He says they committee will be very careful in choosing which roads to repair.

"There will have to be prioritization. Traffic counts and demands, and those kinds of things."

The aid is part of larger retention efforts to keep people from leaving the Lake Region. Even if it's not enough money to fix all of the county's problems, any little bit helps.

Nelsen adds, Being able to help others have us have retention in the area will be supportive in whatever form.

County officials say they should start taking applications for individual aid assistance by the end of the month. There's still no time table for using the disaster aid package for roads projects.

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