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Preparedness grants to cities

Five Washington County cities will receive grant money, passed on through the county from the Center for Disease Control for potentially widespread public health emergencies.

Mini-grants were awarded to all five communities which applied for the program which is focused on preparing for public health emergencies such as pandemic influenza.

The cities and their grant funds are:

• Afton, $9,500

• Birchwood, $10,000

• Cottage Grove, $900

• Newport, $10,000

• Oak Park Heights, $10,000

Grants would be used on preparations such as public education efforts to encourage individual household preparation and the development of continuity plans for city governments seeing high percentages of employee absences caused by a pandemic flu.

Each of the cities will be expected to use the grant to create their own plans, but to also share the information with their neighboring communities.