Riddle: That was kind of the beginning of the season where you're looking at events being postponed or moved back or special conditions or circumstances being dealt with to make sure the event could actually happen.Northern lawmakers say they're sympathetic to residents' concerns and want to show it. State Senator Doug Johnson and Representative David Tomassoni plan to write bills establishing a $10 million loan fund. And Congressman Jim Oberstar says he'll urge Governor Ventura to look into seeking federal funds through a presidential disaster declaration, a move Ventura's spokesman says he would likely support.
Leuer: So even if you had a "disaster declaration," the programs that are out there would probably not provide the assistance that's necessary.Leuer points to failed attempts last year to seek economic-disaster declarations for the state's farmers. The proposals simply didn't meet the guidelines for federal emergency aid. But Leuer says seeking a disaster declaration isn't totally pointless.
Leuer: It certainly draws attention to the issue and the region and may help us to get some other federal programs or assistance that would be viable in this type of situation.Some point to the state's bail-out of Northwest Airlines in 1994, and say there's a case to be made for a similar approach. Lawmakers and businesses owners are also working to come up with creative solutions in case future winters are equally snowless.
Fuller: You know, we have these three extra mandated school days that a lot of times get schools started before Labor Day, cuts off their dollars and tourist season in the summer, that that would be a help as far as something the state could do to help them out for next year.Fuller says he'll also support low-interest loans or property-tax forgiveness for hurting businesses.