Gov. Mark Dayton on Monday authorized more than a half-million dollars in aid to help Anoka County pay for storm damage to the National Sports Center in Blaine and other government property that was pummeled by hail, high winds and heavy rain in mid-June.
The money — $522,388 — will come from the State Disaster Assistance Contingency Account, which will reimburse Anoka County for public infrastructure repairs and cleanup costs. Under state law, the state will reimburse 75 percent of eligible costs, with local government responsible for 25 percent.
In mid-July, the Anoka County Board declared a state of emergency, a necessary step to apply for state aid. Early estimates from the June 11 storm put uninsured losses at about $650,000, mostly at the Sports Center campus.
Each county has a different threshold to qualify for the state’s disaster assistance. Anoka County’s is just over $595,000. Dayton’s approval of the aid request means that all of the government jurisdictions in Anoka County can apply for money to help pay for emergency response costs, debris removal, and damage to parks, buildings, equipment and utilities.
The aid does not apply to damage to private property or individual homes.
The storm dumped so much hail that the city of Coon Rapids pulled out a snowplow to clear intersections where the hail had collected in piles up to 2 feet deep. In Coon Rapids, early city storm-related costs were about $133,000. At the National Sports Center, the roof was extensively damaged.
Dayton in 2014 signed legislation to create the Disaster Assistance Contingency Account. It is meant to help communities after a natural disaster, even when federal aid is not available.
Since 2014, the governor has declared 15 state disasters, with more than $20 million reimbursed to local governments.
Staff writer Hannah Covington contributed to this report.