MINOT, N.D. - Call it a major milestone for flood protection for Minot.
State lawmakers have now sent a bill to Gov. Doug Burgum's desk that would set aside $193 million for Minot's flood protection plan.
We have reaction from lawmakers, Minot city leaders, and those instrumental in getting the bill passed.
"It's a big win,” said Rep. Roscoe Streyle, R-Minot.
State lawmakers have agreed to fund the major parts of a plan aimed at preventing the disaster of the 2011 flood.
The passage of House Bill 1020 sets aside $193 million. This will cover the first four phases of the Mouse River Enhanced Flood Protection Plan—4th Avenue, Napa Valley, Forest Road, and the Maple Diversion.
Through the construction of levees and dikes, the plan is to get roughly 60 percent of those in at-risk areas of flooding out of harm’s way.
Rep. Streyle played a key role working with both chambers of the legislature to get the most money, at a time when lawmakers are cutting budgets.
“It's a big win for the state, too. I mean, it's a win-win deal all the way around, and now the onus is squarely on the cities, Souris River Joint Board's shoulders, to get this project moving,” said Streyle.
Minot City Manager Thomas Barry praised the work of lawmakers, the Joint Board and other civic leaders.
“All working together to create this collaborative effort, which has now resulted in as I mentioned, one of the largest state set-asides for funding that the city of Minot's received in our history,” said Barry.
Ryan Ackerman with the Souris River Joint Board has worked with Minot leaders and lawmakers from the beginning to secure funding. He admits the work is far from over.
“People are, they are frustrated because it's taking too long. And that's why we're committed to going back to work tomorrow morning on securing the funding for the next pieces of the project,” said Ackerman.
The money would be accessible by July, meaning construction work on the plan could start mid-summer, roughly six years to the date of the 2011 flood.
There is still work to be done from city leaders on the local share of the project.
If you want to learn more about where all of this money is going to go, you can log on to: www.mouseriverplan.com