The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced that five communities impacted by severe weather last July will receive an additional $123,600 of aid from reserve funds.
On July 28, 2021, Marathon County and the cities of Omro, Ripon, Tomahawk and Watertown each experienced catastrophic storm damage following severe weather conditions.
Initially, the five grant applicants sought $228,435 from the DNR’s Urban Forestry Catastrophic Storm Grant program to lessen the burden of the impacted communities. However, the grant funds were limited to $104,920.
To assist with funding, the DNR submitted a request in November to the Joint Committee on Finance to transfer additional funds from the forestry emergency reserve.
This reserve was created in 2017, resulting from the Wisconsin ACT 59, which assists with emergency responses to significant fire, disease, infestation or other natural disasters that federal funds could not otherwise reimburse.
The Joint Committee on Finance approved the requested amount of $123,600 to supplement the Urban Forestry’s Catastrophic Storm Grant offering. As a result, all five communities will be eligible to receive the total amount requested on their grant applications.
The Catastrophic Storm Grant program is for tree repair, removal or replacement within urban areas following a catastrophic storm event for which the governor has declared a state of emergency. A catastrophic storm means damage to urban forests caused by snow, ice, hail, wind or tornado.