- Associated Press - Friday, June 16, 2017

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Only one of the dozens of businesses impacted by fishing restrictions on an eastern Minnesota lake is getting financial help from the state thanks to language tucked into an economic development law.

The state law distributes $378 million to create jobs and spur economic development. But the law’s language is so specific that only one business in the area, Hunter’s Winfield Resort on Mille Lacs Lake, will receive $150,000 in aid, The Star Tribune (https://strib.mn/2sGEJBZ ) reported.

Many businesses in the area have suffered because of walleye restrictions imposed by the Department of Natural Resources. The law was a small way to help a business in her district, Republican Rep. Sondra Erickson said.

The department’s commissioner, Tom Landwehr, worries that the law will set a precedent for the state to help all businesses negatively impacted by decisions the department makes to sustain or protect wildlife or the environment.

Officials with Hunter’s Winfield Resort took their case to the Joint House-Senate Subcommittee on Claims. The resort argued that the department hurt its business and it deserved financial compensation.

Margie Christensen of Hunter Winfield’s said the losses were much more than the $150,000 they received, but it does help.

Using the claims board to help struggling businesses on the lake was widely discussed in 2015, according to Joel Carlson, lobbyist for the state resort association. However, the process is time-consuming and expensive, so Hunter Winfield was the only entity that compiled a claim.


Information from: Star Tribune, https://www.startribune.com

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