Disaster funds

Local governments have received reimbursements for costs associated with the tornado that hit the Merrill area April 10, 2011.

The Wisconsin Emergency Management Department has released a total of $162,038 from the Wisconsin Disaster Fund to Lincoln County, the city of Merrill and the town of Merrill. The reimbursement covers 70 percent of the $231,484 in documented expenses the three entities incurred responding to the disaster.

Lincoln County received $71,794, the city received $53,384 and the town received $36,859. The funding covers expenses such as overtime for the county highway department, town road crews, city street department, law enforcement, fire department and city park and recreation department.

“We had expenses in road damage, debris removal and protective services,” said Lincoln County Emergency Management director Brian Sladek.

The disaster did not meet the eligibility requirements for federal relief funds. But, by documenting expenses, Sladek was able to secure the funds from the state.

“I’m really happy to at least be able to get some funding,” Sladek said. “One thing we learned is you really have to document your expenses. We had a lot more expenses, but some were not eligible for funding.”

The Wisconsin Disaster Fund is a relatively new program. The state puts $1 million a year into the fund.

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