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President Barack Obama has issued a major disaster declaration for 10 counties, including San Luis Obispo County, which allows them to apply for federal money to repair or replace facilities affected by flooding, mud and debris from the heavy December storms.

In addition to San Luis Obispo County, the following counties are eligible for federal aid: Inyo, Kern, Kings, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Tulare.

The disaster declaration does not include assistance to individuals or businesses; it is only for public agencies and certain nonprofits to recover costs related to the storms, said Ron Alsop, county emergency services manager.

Officials with the county Office of Emergency Services are still waiting to hear whether low-interest loans may be offered by the Small Business Administration for businesses, homeowners, renters or personal-property owners to assist with home repairs and lost property because of the storms.

All California counties are also eligible to apply for grants to help county governments plan for and prevent damage from future natural hazards, according to a news release from the office of Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.

— Cynthia Lambert

San Miguel

The public is invited to a workshop tonight that will help shape future growth in San Miguel over the next 15 years.

The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. and will run until 9 at the Mission San Miguel Parish Center, located behind Old Mission San Miguel at 795 Monterey Road.

Activities for children are planned during the meeting.

Cal Poly and San Luis Obispo County planners will use input from the workshop to help shape a draft plan to eventually take to the county Board of Supervisors for consideration and adoption.

The workshop is the final meeting in a series of three held to gather feedback on what residents want to see in their community’s future. The first two workshops were in October and December.

Those with questions can contact planner Chuck Stevenson at cstevenson@co.slo.ca.us or 781-5197, or Cal Poly professor Zeljka Howard at zhoward@calpoly.edu or 756-1507.

— Tonya Strickland

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