Senator Kent Conrad returned to Minot yesterdayto inspect flood recovery progress to area infrastructure before convening a meeting at City Hall with Mayor Curt Zimbelman and other city officials. In the meeting, Sen. Conrad continued to press representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for clearer direction and additional flexibility in utilizing Hazard Mitigation funding.
"What we need now is to work collectively on ways to get to "yes' on the important challenges still confronting the city," Sen. Conrad said. "There are rules and regulations that need to be followed. No government can function without them. But it's been my experience that, working as a team, great things can be accomplished. We've seen tremendous progress in Minot. But more needs to be done -- by all of us -- to help the city fully recover. I believe at the end of the day, FEMA will play a critical role in Minot's recovery."
Sen. Conrad focused the meeting on three Hazard Mitigation projects recently submitted for funding, including:
· $21.3 million for a water treatment plant
· $746,350 - Generators for sewer lift stations
· $2 million Communications System
In a call on Monday with FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, Sen. Conrad and Sen. Hoeven secured a commitment from FEMA to extend the temporary housing mission until June 24, 2013, as nearly 1,200 temporary housing units are still in use in the region.
Sen. Conrad said without an extension, the housing mission would end on December 24, 2012. Administrator Fugate indicated in a phone call with Sen. Conrad that the request would be approved, but to date, it still has not been formally approved.
To date, more than $540 million in federal support has been secured to aid Minot's recovery.