Minot homeowners whose properties were damaged during construction of emergency flood levees last summer might finally be getting compensation.
The North Dakota Board of University and School Lands included funding to buy levee-damaged properties in awarding $12.6 million in flood impact grants to the City of Minot Thursday. Minot Public Schools also was awarded $3.5 million towards relocating Erik Ramstad School.
The Land Board awarded $25.6 million to entities in Burleigh, Morton, Ramsey, Renville, McHenry, Richland, Barnes, Benson and Ward counties. The largest share, $18.8 million, went to Ward County. The grants provide up to 50 percent of the cost of a project.
MDN File Photo
A house owned by Mike Monson that was damaged by emergency dike construction is shown last August. It since has been demolished.
Minot was allocated up to $750,000 toward the $1.5 million that is needed to acquire 13 homes.
The Minot City Council previously approved spending sales tax dollars to cover the remaining cost. Cindy Hemphill, Minot finance director, said the city has been working with homeowners and expects the acquisition process to move quickly.
Mike Monson had his damaged rental house demolished by the city and now looks forward to seeing the matter concluded.
"The dike damage to homes was a dilemma that the City of Minot never intended to happen. It is encouraging that this situation is coming to a close. I appreciate the hard work all members of the North Dakota Legislature and Minot City Council have done for Minot," he said.
Not all 13 homeowners may choose to sell. Glenn Bockness, whose home near Minot State University was destroyed, said he doesn't plan to take the city's offer. Instead, he is working with his homeowner's insurer on a settlement. He plans to have the the house demolished so he can sell the land.
Hemphill said the properties aren't needed for permanent flood control so it is not imperative that the city have ownership of the land. It is possible that at least some of the properties might be needed for temporary flood protection until permanent can be built.
The city could sell any acquired land that it determines is not needed in the future. In that case, half of proceeds would go back to the state and half back to the sales tax fund, Hemphill said.
Other grant money awarded to the city includes:
-$4 million toward an $8.6
million project to repair six sanitary sewer lift stations.
-$5 million toward a $20.4 million project to expand the sanitary sewer to accommodate city expansion to the north.
-$2.15 million toward a $4.4 million project to expand the city landfill.
-$650,000 toward the $2.7 million expansion of the Puppy Dog Sewer System to accommodate growth.
Other recipients included the City of Sawyer, which was awarded $50,000 to replace city storm sewer pumps and $169,400 to replace a sanitary sewer lift station. Makoti Public School will receive $16,595 toward replacing five sump pumps, gym floor tile and rewire.
The City of Burlington will receive $2.45 million toward development of new residential properties. The Ward County Water Resource District was awarded $50,000, about half the cost of repairing many of its flood levees.
McHenry County will receive $527,026 toward more than $1 million in projects, including a new county shop and considerable road fixes involving bridge repair, culverts, grade raises and other work. The money includes $214,235 for Velva to replace riprap washed away from the embankment of the city lagoon and road repairs in Spring Grove Township.
The Land Board granted $514,000 in Renville County to repair and replace concessions buildings at Mouse River Park and install two culverts in Plain Township.