County Board ratifies emergency declaration for Taopi

Published 7:19 pm Tuesday, April 26, 2022

The Mower County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday ratified an emergency declaration for Taopi.

Originally drafted on April 14, the declaration frees up funds for disaster relief and helps.

The damage caused to Taopi on April 12 from an EF2 tornado, was enough to break the $85,000 threshold of the state for infrastructure repairs to the community that surrounds tree removal and restoring power.

However, it will be some time still before the county will know whether or not it qualifies for FEMA aid. A federal declaration can’t be made until a total damage assessment is figured out.

The April 12 storm was one of five to strike southeast Minnesota and northeast Iowa that night. Two more struck further south in Iowa, including Mason City.

According to the National Weather Service the tornado came with wind speeds of over 130 mph and was on the ground for a little over seven miles.

In Other News

• The County Board also agreed to an addendum to the Consolidated Correctional Foodservice contract for a one-time rate increase in order to adapt to the rise in food prices. The amount comes out to a 10% increase.

•The board also agreed to a proposal for north road and entrance lighting upgrades at the Mower County Fairgrounds that will include nine new light poles. The entire project is estimated at $9,500 and will be completed by Austin Utilities. According to County Administrator Trish Harren, the project includes taking down the existing poles and power lines and replacing them with newer poles, trenching and connecting power and installing new lights. They will be moved from the south side of the road to the north side.