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May 14, 2013 05:00 PM

SW Minnesota Towns Begin Federal Funding Process

Luverne, MN

Southwest Minnesotans are breathing a sigh of relief after April's snow and ice storm.

This week town representatives from Cottonwood, Jackson, Murray, Nobles and Rock counties are filling out applications to kick start the process federal assistance process.

"We're doing the applicant briefing and that is the meeting to get the potential applicants for each county together so we can have them fill out a request for public assistance," Minnesota State Public Assistance Officer Bill Hirte said.

A packed house heard federal agency representatives explain what they will be looking for when surveying damage and preparing to give assistance.

FEMA's Sarah Wolfe says this is just the beginning of a long process, but reassures residents that cities will be covered.

"We will meet with all the applicants, we will meet with all those in the designated counties and we will be here until we captured all the costs and all the grants and give people the recovery funds that we can provide," Wolfe said.

This week the agencies will travel throughout southwest Minnesota for informational meetings. Hills Mayor Keith Elbers says this assistance will help his town rebuild.

"It's just a long process and a lot of hours going in to getting the documentations of everything, but it will all come together," Elbers said.

The communities have until June 2 to complete the applications.

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