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The clock is ticking on NDR funds, projects

he clock has been ticking since Minot was awarded $74.3 million in January 2016 from the Department of Housing and Urban Development through its National Disaster Resilience Competition.

Now, we’re essentially halfway through the time allowed to allocate the funds, and while there has been much accomplished since the funds were awarded, we know there is a lot of work ahead. That’s why it’s a good time to host a town hall meeting focusing on the NDR program.

We hope you’ll join us on Aug. 15 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Washington Elementary School, located at 600 17th Ave. SE.

There is a lot to talk about with the NDR program, and at this meeting, we’ll focus on these topics:

Strategic buyout/acquisition program

Multi-family affordable rental housing

Single-family affordable housing

Family homeless shelter

Center for Technical Education

City Hall relocation

City Manager Tom Barry, National Disaster Resilience Program Manager John Zakian, City of Minot department heads, and others will present information on the progress of the NDR program and specific projects, and outline how future objectives will continue to play a role in making Minot a more resilient community.

No doubt the proposed gathering space in downtown Minot will also be a topic of discussion at the Washington town hall. As with any subject, debate is a good thing as long as it’s done with accurate information and good intentions to move forward with this community supported project.

If you remember, Minot was one of 13 grantees nationwide to be awarded funding, and our city was by far the smallest recipient. Under HUD guidelines, the funds must be allocated by Sept. 30, 2022, and must focus on three areas outlined in the City’s NDR application submitted in 2015. Those three specific areas include:

Reducing flood risks and improving water management ($21 million)

Building affordable, resilient neighborhoods, including a downtown gathering place and a family shelter ($43 million)

Fostering economic resilience and diversification ($5 million)

The remaining funds are allocated to planning and administrative costs

Despite being the smallest grantee, Minot has done well using the generous funds from HUD to move our community forward toward the goal of becoming a more resilient city following the devastating 2011 flood. In fact, in October 2018, HUD’s two-year expenditure analysis ranked Minot second among the 13 grantees in making progress with the NDR funding. The report also noted that Minot was doing well in carrying out its HUD-approved action plan that was part our accepted application.

As we’ve said before, one of the main purposes of a town hall is to listen to the concerns of community members, but that doesn’t work if we’re the only ones talking; it’s critical that we continue to have feedback from members of the public. We held a town hall in May at Perkett Elementary School that focused on the 2019 North Dakota Legislature, but we also discussed other topics, too, notably flood control projects. The May event was well-attended, and the audience drove much of the discussion once the official presentations ended.

We hope that happens at this meeting, too. Yes, we want to focus on the NDR program and everything happening with those funds because these one-time funds offer us the opportunity to make a real and positive difference in the future of our community. But we also know there will be other topics those in attendance want to discuss. That’s a good thing; we look forward to being able to share accurate information about a variety of subjects.

We’ll see you Thursday at Washington Elementary School.

Sincerely, City Hall

You can find more about what’s happening at the City of Minot at minotnd.org, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. We’d also encourage you to sign up for our monthly electronic newsletter on our website.

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