Statewide

Dayton authorizes emergency aid

Gov. Mark Dayton last week authorized the release of about $3.7 million from the State Disaster Assistance Contingency Account to help pay for emergency relief in eight Minnesota counties and one tribal nation hit hard by September storms.

Thunderstorms and tornadoes caused damage to areas of Faribault, Goodhue, Le Sueur, Martin, Renville, Rice, Steele, and Waseca counties, and to the Prairie Island Indian Community.

The money will reimburse the storm victims for repairs to public infrastructure and cleanup costs. The governor’s office noted that under Minnesota law, the state will reimburse 75 percent of eligible costs for public infrastructure repairs and cleanup. Local governments are responsible for covering the remaining 25 percent. The list of recipients:

• Faribault County: $21,836

• Goodhue County: $293,130

• Le Sueur County: $401,153

• Martin County: $289,332

• Renville County: $44,595

• Rice County: $2,066,999

• Steele County: $435,155

• Waseca County: $69,026

• Prairie Island Indian Community: $31,576

Dan Browning

Montevideo

City manager abruptly resigns

The Montevideo City Council last week unanimously approved a “resignation/retirement” agreement with City Manager Steve Jones, who worked for the city for 20 years.

No reason was cited.

Angie Steinbach was named interim city manager, but she’s leaving Jan. 7 to become county administrator in Minnesota’s Yellow Medicine County. She said an interim leader will be named when she leaves and the city will search for a permanent successor.

Jones’ departure comes two weeks after the state’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension began investigating Police Chief Adam Christopher after a restraining order was filed against him Nov. 15 by an 18-year-old woman, who said he sent her sexual text messages. Christopher went on personal sick leave Nov. 19.

Kelly Smith

Otter Tail County

New sheriff barely wins recount

Barry Fitzgibbons will take office as sheriff of Otter Tail County after a recount last week that declared him the winner by eight votes in a contest that drew more than 25,000 votes.

Fitzgibbons defeated Kile Bergren 12,716-12,708.

Twenty-four election judges conducted the recount, going through the ballots one by one and reading each vote out loud. After seven days, the election result will be certified and Fitzgibbons will take office on Jan. 7, replacing Sheriff Brian Schlueter, who is retiring after 24 years in the job.

John Reinan