Senators John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp, Congressman Kevin Cramer and Governor Jack Dalrymple today announced that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded the city of Minot and Ward County more than $40 million in another round of funding through the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Relief (CDBG-DR) program. Notification of the new funding came from HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, whose agency oversees the CDBG-DR program.
Also, the city and county will now be allowed to use the funding for home acquisition outside the floodplain, which was formerly disallowed. Additionally, under the terms of the grants, the city and county will be permitted to build levees and flood protection structures on land bought out with CDBG funding, an activity that was also not previously permitted.
The most recent awards bring the total of CDBG-DR funding for Minot to more than $112 million, and the total of all federal funding combined to the city and region to more than $632 million. (See attached breakdown below.)
In the most recent round, the city received $35 million in CDBG-DR funding directly, and the state of North Dakota received $6.6 million, approximately 80 percent of which, about $5.2 million, is expected to go to Ward County, bringing the total this round to more than $40 million. In addition, Minot will continue to be treated as an "entitlement city," meaning it will receive and allocate the funding directly, rather than through the state. The city and county received $77 million of CDBG-DR funding in a first round of awards last September.
Senators Hoeven and Kent Conrad introduced an amendment that provided $500 million in additional CDBG-DR funding to the Hurricane Sandy disaster aid legislation that passed the Senate in December. The senators also worked to make the aid available on a competitive basis to communities like Minot and Ward County, which experienced severe disasters earlier, in 2011 or 2012. The measure was signed into law in January.
"The people of Minot and Ward County experienced a devastating flood two years ago and though much has been done, the work to recover and rebuild continues," Hoeven said. "This support will help with housing, business and infrastructure needs beyond those addressed by other forms of public and private assistances to help the region get back on its feet."
"The Minot community has made progress on its recovery, but there is still a lot of work to do," said Heitkamp. "This is another important step in our efforts to support Minot's recovery from the devastating 2011 floods. I will continue to work with local leaders and the Congressional delegation to ensure this community has the resources it needs."
"I am happy that one of my first actions as a Congressman has helped provide needed assistance to North Dakota's 2011 flood victims." said Congressman Kevin Cramer. "Although most refer to it as the Hurricane Sandy bill, today's announced distribution of these emergency funds to the City of Minot, and the people of North Dakota, symbolizes the true intent of this legislation."
"In meetings with HUD officials, I have impressed upon them the severity of the 2011 flood in Minot and Ward County, and I am pleased that they are providing this additional assistance to help in our continued flood recovery," Gov. Jack Dalrymple said. "The state also continues to support the region's flood recovery, and at the same time we are committed with local and federal officials to advancing permanent flood protection."