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Additional Federal Disaster Relief Aid Could Cost Houghton County

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Housing Service is making an additional 150-million dollars available to United States counties who suffered disaster losses last year.

The good news is that the list includes Houghton, Gogebic and Menominee Counties, which experienced significant damage in the Father’s Day Flood.

The bad news is that it also includes 1,342 additional counties in 36 other states, plus several U.S. territories, who have suffered everything from hurricane damage to wildfires to drought.

The worse news is that the extra disaster money was diverted from potential grant funds that Houghton County was relying on to help buy two new sheriff’s department patrol cars next year.

County Administrator Eric Forsburg says the patrol cars will still need to be purchased, and the cost will probably eliminate the thin surplus in next year’s budget.

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