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Brodhead, Town of Jefferson receive disaster funds
BRODHEAD - Two municipalities have received checks from the Wisconsin Disaster Fund that will cover 70 percent of the costs incurred to clean up debris from June's tornadoes.

Tanna McKeon, director of Green County Emergency Management, put in an appeal to the state and to Federal Emergency Management Agency seeking funds to mitigate the costs that the municipalities of Brodhead, Town of York and Town of Jefferson had for cleanup efforts following the June 16 and June 17 tornadoes. McKeon said the Town of York is the only municipality that has not received funds yet.

McKeon approached the Green County Board in July to ask that the estimated $800,000 worth of destruction caused by the tornadoes be officially considered a state of emergency in the county. The board granted McKeon's request, which allowed her to seek funds from FEMA and the state. The initial request to FEMA was denied and is being appealed, but McKeon said she does not think they will receive any funds from FEMA.

"You have to reach millions of dollars in damage to get FEMA funds," she said.

Meteorologists believe the two tornadoes went through northwest Green County starting near Blanchardville, then lifted up and touched down again in Verona. Gov. Scott Walker declared a state of emergency for Dane, Grant and Green counties on June 20.

All the debris has been cleared off of highways and streets in the municipalities that McKeon requested funds for. The money from the WDF will help ease the costs of those cleanup efforts. According to the Wisconsin Emergency Management handbook, the WDF was created in April 2006, and is issued to county, local and tribal units of government to recoup costs in the event of a natural disaster. The fund does not cover personal loss to private citizens' property, businesses or agricultural losses.

"The money came remarkably quick; I was so surprised and happy," McKeon said.