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Faribault County nets $1.6M in relief funds

BLUE EARTH — Faribault County commissioners on Tuesday voted to accept money made available by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

“Faribault County has been awarded $1,655,319 in coronavirus relief funds,” said Auditor Darren Esser. “We also received $81,530 to distribute to small cities and towns.”

He then explained that Faribault County’s larger municipalities may request up to $735,460 of aid on top of that amount.

“Commissioner Warmka and I have talked to Darren and we feel there should be some work sessions so we do this properly,” said Commissioner Greg Young.

Esser agreed.

“There are many gray areas and we are still learning how this money may be used,” Esser said. “I think things will become more clear in the near future.”

The board scheduled a work session for 8 a.m. Thursday to begin discussing use of the funds.

“I think we need to have county [Economic Development Authority] specialist Annie Leibel attend these meetings,” said Commissioner Bill Groskreutz. “Her connection to [Community & Economic Development Associates] will be valuable and she should have some knowledge of what we can and cannot do.”

In other business, the board approved a land sale to the state of Minnesota. The 34-acre parcel is located just north of Guckeen on the east side of County Road 1 and is adjacent to an existing wildlife management area. The Department of Natural Resources office in Nicollet and state and local chapters of Pheasants Forever, Inc. assisted in the acquisition.

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