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Published March 06, 2012, 07:13 PM

Ramsey County Closer to $1M in State Aid

DEVILS LAKE, ND (WDAZ-TV) - But in order to get that aid, the state wants the county to pitch in as well. County leaders know where they want the money to go, but there are still a few steps to go before they get it.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

DEVILS LAKE, ND (WDAZ-TV) - Ramsey County residents are one step closer to benefiting from $1 million in state aid.

But in order to get that aid, the state wants the county to pitch in as well. County leaders know where they want the money to go, but there are still a few steps to go before they get it.

The money came from last year's special session. State legislators awarded $30 million state-wide. Ramsey County's share is $1 million.

"There's been a lot of damage caused by the lake, the flooding, and some of this money that the state has made available through the land grants project is going to be a great plus for us," Devils Lake mayor Dick Johnson said.

One quarter of the money will go to the Greater Ramsey Water District to help fix water and sewer systems for rural residents.

"The city is pretty well protected by the embankment, but we have a lot of infrastructure needs out in the county that need to be addressed and this is going to be a big plus for them," Johnson said.

The remaining three-fourths of the money will go to the gravity outlet, but there's a requirement to get that money.

"Certainly anything we can get from the state is a plus. For the gravity outlet, that may require a match," Johnson said.

The state aid must be matched dollar-for-dollar with local money. For a region that's been battling rising water for two decades, that may be a challenge.

"There's always concerns I think when you're talking about the millions of dollars up in that group, it's always a concern about how you come up with it, but it seems that it gets figured out," Ramsey County Emergency Manager Kristen Nelsen said.

County officials don't know where the money will come from yet. But stretching the budget now has its advantages down the road.

"If we were able to get some money through this grant it would be a big plus and that would mean less money that has to be raised locally," Johnson said.

A proposal outlining what the aid will be used for is due to state leaders by March 20.

Nelsen says it will take the state a couple weeks to approve ITS proposal before they'll find out.

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