Defense grant to help with flood wall project

Jill Schramm/MDN Sen. John Hoeven, right, speaks at a Minot City Council meeting Saturday as Mayor Shaun Sipma looks on at left.

Sen. John Hoeven, R-ND, joined the Minot City Council at a meeting Saturday to accept a $9.84 million federal grant for a segment of the flood protection project in Minot.

The grant comes through the Defense Community Infrastructure Program, the same program through which the Magic City Discovery Center received a $6.2 million grant earlier this year. The flood protection grant will go toward construction of the Fourth Avenue Northeast flood wall in phase MI-5. That phase includes 2,400 feet of new floodwall, a removable closure through the floodwall and about 2,100 feet of roadway reconstruction.

The overall flood protection project through Minot is being completed in phases, with an initial goal to get 60% of the at-risk population protected.

“We’re getting funding for each of these phases as rapidly as we can,” Hoeven said. “We have a city, state, federal partnership.”

The DCIP grant will help with the $23.6 million cost of the proposed segment. The state is providing $8.9 million and the city sales tax is providing $4.8 million. Also present at the council meeting were Andrea Travnicek, director of the state Water Resources Department, and David Ashley, chairman of the Souris River Joint Board, which is overseeing the regional Mouse River Enhanced Flood Protection Project.

Hoeven said flood protection is critical to the nation’s defense. During the 2011 flood, inundated roads forced the Air Force to travel long distances to access several missile sites.

The grant application had support from air base officials.

Hoeven said he continues to work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to assist local officials in obtaining federal assistance for the $60 million Maple Diversion portion of the flood protection project. The DCIP is the first federal grant to be awarded toward a flood protection construction phase, although a pre-project phase involving flood walls around the Minot Water Treatment Plant also had received about $30 million in federal assistance. Federal dollars also have gone into property acquisitions for the flood project.

Council member Tom Ross said the DCIP grant is an example of the importance Minot AFB has for the region.

“We just don’t, maybe sometimes, realize how important our partners are to the north of us and our neighbors, our friends, our relatives who live and work on Minot Air Force Base. This is just really a big day for Minot, and it’s a big day for flood control,” he said.


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