County, city, and tribal governments set to receive public safety aid funding this week
WTIP file photo

County, city, and tribal governments set to receive public safety aid funding this week

Many local governments in Minnesota, including Cook County, Grand Marais, and the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, are anticipating the delivery of a one-time funding allocation of public safety aid today, Dec. 26. 

Governor Tim Walz announced on Dec. 21 that the Department of Revenue will send $300 million in public safety aid to local governments across Minnesota starting early this week. 

“This funding will allow public safety officials to invest in the things that matter most to their communities, whether that’s officer recruitment and retention, a new ambulance, or fire and rescue equipment,” said Governor Walz in the press release. “I want to give a special thank you to Minnesota’s law enforcement and public safety officials this holiday season, who never take a day off from keeping their residents safe.”

Public safety departments can use the aid for public safety initiatives such as recruitment and retention, equipment costs, mental health crisis responses, victim​ services, and first responder wellness and training programs. The requirements for the public safety aid state the recipient may not use the aid toward the costs of construction, reconstruction, remodeling, expansion, or improvement of a police station, including related facilities. 

The 2023 Minnesota Legislature enacted a one-time Public Safety Aid payable in 2023. The one-time aid will be paid in one installment on Dec. 26. The one-time appropriation of $300 million is allocated among all counties, cities, townships, and Minnesota’s 11 federally recognized tribal governments.

Cook County is set to receive $179,095, Grand Marais will receive $58,901, and the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa will receive $24,186. 

During the Nov. 29 Grand Marais city council meeting, Mayor Tracy Benson shared that the Violence Prevention Center officially requested $10,000 of the allocated money Grand Marais will receive. 

The city council has yet to approve the request officially. During the Nov. 29 meeting, Benson said, “When we talked about it earlier, I know the fire department has had a lot of costs this year, so I think we were kind of thinking about allocating a lot of that money that way.” The city council will decide whether to approve the Violence Prevention Center’s request in an upcoming meeting. 

Also going out next week are the second-half payments of more than $1.2 billion in other state aid, including County Program Aid (CPA)Local Government Aid (LGA), and Town Aid. County and local governments can use these funds to pay for basic needs such as local roads and public safety. They also can help relieve the burden of local property taxes. During the historic 2023 legislative session, lawmakers invested an additional $80 million annually in LGA and CPA to be paid starting in July 2024.

“These aid programs are important investments that impact all Minnesotans,” said Minnesota Department of Revenue Commissioner Paul Marquart. “These programs take into consideration multiple factors to ensure that these aid amounts are dispersed in an equitable manner that tries to reflect the diversity and uniqueness we see in communities in every corner of the state.”

In 2024 LGA, Grand Marais will receive $79,714.     

In 2024 CPA, Cook County is set to receive $676,798. 

In 2024, Town Aid, Lutsen Township will receive $4,539, Schroeder Township will receive $2,346, and Tofte Township will receive $1,465.