Delegation, Governor: EDA Awards Minot $18 Million for Imagine Downtown Reconstruction Project

MINOT, N.D. – Senators John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp, Congressman Kevin Cramer and Governor Jack Dalrymple today announced that the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) has awarded Minot $18 million from Congress’s 2012 disaster recovery funding for the city’s ambitious Imagine Downtown project.

Hoeven has worked since the historic flood of 2011 to secure federal funds for recovery and permanent flood protection in Minot. Over the past year, he worked to shepherd the Imagine Downtown grant with EDA officials, including Denver Regional Director Robert E. Olson. The funding originates from the EDA’s Disaster Recovery program, which Senator Hoeven, a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, worked to secure in the Fiscal Year 2012 budget.

In addition to the delegation, governor, and regional director, also on hand for today’s ceremony was U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Matt Erskine, Minot Mayor Curt Zimbelman, City Manager Dave Waind, Finance Director Cindy Hemphill, Executive Director of the Souris Basin Planning Council Lindsay Ulrickson, and Minot Downtown Business Association President Bonny Kemper.

The $140 million Imagine Downtown plan, half of which will consist of low and moderate income housing, is a complex of business and residential renewal projects that will help to restore and enhance the city’s center following severe flooding in 2011.

  • EDA $18 million
  • City $4.5 million
  • HUD (CDBG) $5.3 million
  • Magic Fund $3.0
  • Private Equity $110 million
  • TOTAL: $140.8

The $18 million EDA disaster recovery funding will improve and expand Minot’s downtown infrastructure in support of the city’s larger reconstruction effort. In particular, the EDA grant will help to fund the replacement of destroyed or damaged public downtown infrastructure, including streets, curbs, storm sewers, water mains, street lights, traffic lights and other projects, as well as create new infrastructure to support current and active redevelopment projects as the city continues to grow.

The EDA grant will be combined with approximately $4.5 million in city match, for a total of $22.8 million.

“More than a year ago, we began to imagine what a new and vibrant downtown Minot would look like and how we would secure the funding to make that vision a reality,” Hoeven said. “Now, this grant, which we worked hard to secure over the last 12 months, will help provide the infrastructure on which a modern downtown Minot of the future will rise. It will help to ensure that the city comes back better than ever following the worst disaster in its history.”

“This is a much-needed boost of federal funding to help Minot revitalize its downtown after the disastrous 2011 floods,” said Heitkamp. “This project is an excellent example of federal and local officials working hand in hand to get the job done. Minot still has a ways to go in its recovery, and I will be with them every step of the way.”

“EDA’s co-investment with the city of Minot will advance their recovery from the extensive flooding that occurred in 2011 and help cement the city’s reputation as the regional commercial center for northwest North Dakota,” said U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Matt Erskine. “A strong core of new investment, housing, and jobs in the center of the city will accelerate the overall recovery that is underway in Minot.”

“Upgrading Minot’s downtown infrastructure is important during this period of active growth and transition,” said Cramer. “These resources will be put to work in one of the most dynamic local economies in the country, spurring new opportunities for those affected by the devastating floods of 2011, as well as new and future residents.”

Dalrymple and other state officials also have assisted in securing the grant. The governor’s office has had several discussions with EDA Regional Director Robert Olson in support of Minot’s grant application. Pam Sharp, the director of North Dakota’s Office of Management and Budget, traveled to Denver with the Minot delegation to press for the grant’s approval and state officials also assisted Minot throughout the application process.

“Securing this grant required a coordinated effort between the state, our Congressional Delegation and Minot leaders,” Dalrymple said. “To recover from the degree of flooding experienced in Minot and Ward County takes support and commitment from all levels of government. Minot is making great strides since the devastating 2011 flood and this grant will have a tremendous impact in our collective efforts to advance flood recovery and permanent flood protection.”

“I’m extremely pleased that the City of Minot has been awarded a grant in the amount of $18 million by the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration for supplemental disaster funding,” Zimbelman said. “This money will go directly toward revitalizing Downtown Minot through the Downtown Smart Growth Development Project. As our community continues to recover from our 2011 flood, revitalizing the downtown area will help to continue the momentum of re-opening businesses, opening new businesses, creating jobs, and returning to a healthy, attractive and vibrant center for our residents to shop, dine and work. A flourishing Downtown Minot is one of the keystones in the rebuilding of our entire community, and this grant gives us the opportunity to move forward, and make our downtown area stand out as the ‘Heart of Minot.’”

EDA awards disaster grants to cities and other eligible entities working on strategic planning, infrastructure development or capital for alternative financing projects. EDA investments are awarded competitively and evaluated against other regional applications. Grants must support long-term economic recovery projects in an area, like Minot, that is recovering from a natural disaster.