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County has Top 4 Red River flood, will only receive state aid

By Anna Jauhola
The Red River presented a Top 4 flood this year in Kittson County as the river crested at Drayton at 43.35 feet, according to the National Weather Service. The Board of County Commissioners heard more about the flood at its regular meeting on Tuesday, April 21. The river crested at 50.2 feet at Pembina.
In 2019, the river crested at 42.46 feet at Drayton, but the higher water this year will leave about as much damage. County Emergency Manager Scot Olson said scouring at bridges and culverts, damage to roads and flood debris will again be the major issues the county will spend money on for flood cleanup.
The major difference this year is the county will only receive state disaster funds as not enough flooding damage happened in the state to declare a federal disaster, Olson said.
“I’ve already been in contact and working with the townships, getting ready to put in for the flood,” Olson said. “It’ll be a state disaster, so 75/25 payment.”
The state will provide 75 percent reimbursement, but the county and townships will be responsible for 25 percent of the damage, which is estimated between $400,000 and $500,000.
Klegstad said he and the highway department crews have made initial visits to some damage sites to document high water. However, they cannot make more assessments until the water recedes to present the damage.
“It’s hard to speculate, but with water levels at the heights they’re at and the amount of wind over the last week. That’s really what does the damage is the wind. It creates waves and washes things out,” Klegstad said.
He added that he and his crew will likely be out this week to view the damage.
In other business, the commissioners:
• Approved the purchase of a new accounts payable system through Information Systems Corporation, or ISC, in Fargo. The board visited with Wayne Altenbernds and decided to purchase the system, which will allow the accounts payable department to go paperless. The total cost, which includes a desktop scanner, is $25,432.
• Created a committee of Commissioners Loren Younggren and Corey Wikstrom, and Administrator Eric Christensen to discuss details of implementing a property tax abatement option in the county. This is in response to Robert Carr’s request for a property tax abatement on the townhomes he is building in Hallock. The issue will again be discussed at the Tuesday, April 28 meeting.
• Approved the first reading of a revised Federal Procurement Policy.
• Approved an asphalt sealant quote for $23,238.60 from Mindstates Equipment and supply. The budget was $33,000.

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