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Help available for those with snow-damaged buildings

Help is available locally and statewide for those who own homes, barns, sheds and other buildings that were damaged by the recent heavy snow and rainfall.

The Douglas County Land and Resource Management Office is available to help building owners determine if they need a permit to repair the damage. Those permits can

also be expedited, according to the county.

The Land and Resource Management Office will also assist those with damaged property determine if they are located within the building code enforcement area.

Contact Land and Resource Management at 320-762-3863.

Also, the Rural Finance Authority Board issued a Disaster Declaration for the State of Minnesota on March 19, which now makes low interest loans available for Minnesota farmers whose operations suffered barn collapses or other damage due to the record winter snowfall.

Gov. Tim Walz signed a bill allowing the RFA to declare a disaster due to excessive snowfall. The funds are available to farmers for expenses not covered by insurance.

"Governor Walz and the RFA board members acted quickly to make these disaster recovery funds available," said Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen. "This zero interest loan program is especially important for farmers who suffered damage from the heavy snowfall and were not insured or were underinsured."

The Disaster Recovery Loan Program can be used to help clean up, repair, or replace farm structures and septic and water systems, as well as replace cropping inputs, feed, and livestock.

The program offers affordable financing to repair existing agricultural buildings to pre-disaster conditions.

Eligible farmers must have received at least 50 percent of their annual gross income from farming for the past three years and will work through their bank to secure the loans from the RFA.

More information on the Disaster Recovery Loan is on the Minnesota Department of Agriculture website.

Al Edenloff

Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  

(320) 763-1236