Thursday, May 31, 2007

Fire Mitigation Begins

With the help of Congressman James Oberstar and after a meeting with representatives of the Cook County Sheriff's department the USFS, Gunflint Trail businesses, & residents, the following actions have been take place those far to mitigate the fire damage and to help the Gunflint Trail in the future:

1. the head of FEMA has agreed to expedite the production and installation of the phone cable.

2. The sprinkler program with FEMA will be repeated. FEMA will pay 75% with a 25% participant match for new system installations, existing system upgrades, or repairs to damaged systems.

3. The Director of FEMA (feeling a 800 Mhz system would not be appropriate for this area) will be contacting the Sheriffs office and the Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department to get an appropriate communication system for the Gunflint Trail.

4. The Director of FEMA and Congressman Oberstar have both looked at the application by the Gunflint Trail Volunteer Fire Department for the pumper truck. FEMA will contact the GTVFD directly to help write an application that will be approved.

5. The Small Business Administration plans to see what they could do to help businesses. Two regional SBA representatives will visit Grand Marais to assist people impacted by the fire to get loans directly from the SBA. They have asked the Governor to fax the necessary letter to the SBA where it will be immediately approved. Once approved the SBA people can start issuing loans.

6. Finally, FEMA has really nice trailers available for temporary use while rebuilding. The trailers are currently in another state. The Congressman needs to know how many trailers people will need to use while they rebuild. Congressman Oberstar says they are "nice trailers".

Watch the http://www.gunflint911.org website to sign up to receive information regarding FEMA assistance for Wildfire Sprinkler Systems. A sign-up form should be available at that site within the next day or so.Our heartfelt thanks to Congressman Oberstar, for his prompt attention and response to our needs.

Lee Kerfoot & Shari BakerGunflint Trail Association

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