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Flood control funding a key issue for Minot as session begins

City of Minot
City of Minot(KFYR)
Updated: Jan. 5, 2021 at 6:27 PM CST
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MINOT, N.D. – Local leadership in Minot said flood control remains a top concern as lawmakers convene for the North Dakota legislative session.

“The city of Minot has a couple of different priorities this legislative session both of them I think on the priority of flood control. One being really endorsing the plan to go ahead and bond for the state’s cost-share,” said Minot Mayor Shaun Sipma.

Rep. Scott Louser, R-Minot, said that bill is one to watch.

“For infrastructure spending that bill is going to be upwards of a billion dollars, it’s going to be tied to the Legacy Fund so that’s going to be the big bill this session,” said Louser.

But why is this important for Minot residents?

“The State Water Commission the Souris River Joint Board and FEMA all worked on this design, and when the design is complete, the requirement to carry flood insurance for property owners in Minot goes away,” said Louser.

Sipma said he has been in talks with local representatives about the funding needed to pay for Minot’s part of the billion-dollar flood protection project.

Minot is responsible for 35 percent of the project which comes out to about $350 to $400 million.

“Being able to capitalize on what we hope is a long-term low-interest plan on the local cost-share side through either the Bank of North Dakota or Legacy Funds, just utilized in a different capacity, would enable us to save upwards of $100 million dollars over the life of flood control interest,” Sipma said.

He also said that as the legislature goes on and bills he will keep an eye on what bills are introduced to see how they will impact bot the city of Minot and residents.

Sipma encourages residents to visit the North Dakota Legislative Branch website to watch the session.

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