Pat Oman, Economic Development director for Carlton County, announced that word has come from the Minnesota Investment Fund personnel of a $1.8 million grant for flood relief in Carlton County. Carlton County was the only one to apply. $110,000 is dedicated to administer the award.
"We are pleased to make this announcement," said Director Oman, "and have earmarked as many as 27 businesses that will be helped with this funding. The list is not finalized, but this grant will go a long way and make a strong local business recovery possible."
"Our area businesses are struggling after so much flood damage," commented new 5th District Commissioner Gary Peterson. "I am confident that this financial boost to the affected local businesses will make a difference."
The announcement came at the first or annual meeting of the Carlton County Board of Commissioners in which the board roles are "reorganized" with new leaders and committee assignments made. Commissioner Bob Olean, representing the 4th District which locally includes the Barnum and Mahtowa areas, was elected chairman for this year with Dick Brenner vice-chair.
Commissioner Peterson actively positioned himself into several of the committees, among these were the Area Transportation Partnership, the Airport Commission, Big Sandy Watershed District, Carlton County Extension Committee, Carlton County Law Library, and Lakes and Pines Community Action Council. Chairman Olean, during a discussion of who sat on the Carlton County Economic Development Authority, cautioned Peterson saying, "Wait a year, get your feet wet, and then consider taking on other duties."
The use of electronic medium slowly changes how the county does its transfer of information. Committee meetings will now be transmitted to all commissioners electronically. Yet the board would only change so far. Meeting agendas and material will still be hard copy and mailed.
The Moose Lake Star Gazette will be the official newspaper for the county. Minutes, the Tax Delinquent Summary, and all necessary legals will be published there.
A surprise to some attending the meeting, Drew Digby, spearheading Carlton County's flood relief, requested $2,000 to cover "educational materials" for the Minnesota Legislature, normally called lobbying, asking for additional help for area flood losses. County Coordinator Genereau addressed the proposal as needed and it was approved unanimously.