Delegation, Governor Mark Groundbreaking for New City of Minnewaukan

WASHINGTON – Senators John Hoeven and Kent Conrad, Congressman Rick Berg and Governor Jack Dalrymple today marked the groundbreaking for the new city of Minnewaukan, which is being relocated to higher ground. Although unable to attend the ceremony, the delegation and governor congratulated city officials.

The delegation worked to secure a $4.8 million Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation grant to relocate 18 structures and buy out an additional 96 buildings in Minnewaukan, as well as a $1.2 million grant from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to help build a new water line, distribution system and access roads at the new site.

Of the $4.8 million, about $3.8 million is being used to buy out and demolish 57 structures in the city at risk from the rising waters of the lake. An additional $1 million is being used to buy out and relocate 18 structures to higher ground. Acquisition and demolition of these 57 structures and the acquisition and relocation of an additional 21 structures in related projects will greatly reduce the effects of flooding for many residents of the community.

The state has provided an additional $3.8 million to help protect the city of Minnewaukan during its transition to the new location and also for new infrastructure needed to develop the new city location. State funding has been used at the original Minnewaukan location to protect the city’s sanitary sewer system from flooding. State funds also have been used to help cover the costs of a new water tower, sewer infrastructure at the new site, new water supply infrastructure and highway access infrastructure.

The relocation will substantially reduce the risk of future damage, hardship, loss, or suffering in the city from Devil’s Lake, which has risen by about 30 feet and quadrupled in size since 1993.

“The people of Minnewaukan have shown tremendous perseverance and ingenuity in their efforts to preserve their community, and this funding will help to secure it for many years to come,” the delegation and governor said in a joint statement.

The delegation and governor worked throughout last year to secure the assistance from FEMA and the EDA to protect the city and school and build infrastructures for the new community. Senators Hoeven and Conrad held meetings in Devils Lake, as well as Washington, focused on the need to assist the town of Minnewaukan and its school. They met and spoke on numerous occasions with FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate and other high-level officials to secure important funding for the city.

Minnewaukan Public Schools has acquired a 45-acre tract approximately one mile northwest of the existing town site and will construct a new school on 15 acres of this site through U.S. Department of Education funding as a separate project. The city of Minnewaukan is purchasing the remaining 30 acres from the school for the town relocation, which would accommodate the relocation of the 18 structures scheduled to be moved.