Governor Kate Brown has allocated $1 million in state assistance to Malheur County to help as the area recovers from unprecedented damage caused by winter storms.

The funds will be allocated through the Oregon Economic Development Department (Business Oregon) toward building structure damage assessment costs, onion disposal, and assistance in replacement of value-added agriculture processing and storage facilities.

Governor Brown has also announced that since the thresholds for a federal Disaster Declaration through FEMA have been met, she will be requesting a Presidential Disaster Declaration, with response from the Trump Administration expected within the next three weeks.

In February, Congressman Greg Walden (R-Hood River) sent a letter to President Trump asking that his administration act expeditiously upon receipt of the request for a Disaster Declaration to both approve the request and to ensure that the federal assets normal for such an emergency are deployed to those Oregon counties suffering from the ravages of the winter of 2017.

Rep. Bentz said, “I am thankful to Governor Brown for both visiting Malheur County, and for her recognition of the staggering losses and damages sustained by the people of this area. With hundreds of collapsed buildings, and thousands, if not millions of dollars in lost productivity, onion inventory, livestock, wages, and sales, the assistance of our state and federal government is essential. We are deeply appreciative of the Governor’s help in directing scarce state resources to Malheur County, in the form of both agency assistance and money, and for her work with the Trump Administration to obtain a disaster declaration for our area.”

Once a federal Disaster Declaration is official, Malheur County will be eligible for a 75 percent/25 percent cost share on eligible publicly incurred (public buildings for example) damages. Those suffering livestock losses in Counties declared disaster areas will also be eligible for USDA disaster assistance programs.

Individuals in need of funding assistance for structural assessments should contact the Malheur County Extension Office at 541-881-1417 or via email: stuart.reitz@oregonstate.edu. Funding assessments will begin in mid-March.