Several flood-damaged houses that have been condemned by First District Health Unit will be part of a demolition project that the City of Minot is developing.
Whether homeowners of condemned properties receive financial help in the demolition of their properties could depend on whether they qualify for a state program for low- to moderate-income families.
The health unit directed the city to remove 12 properties for reasons of health and safety. Homeowners were given the options to make repairs or make their own arrangements for removing the houses. Demolition was ordered only after neither of those options was taken.
Jill Schramm/MDN • Two neighboring houses on Maple Street are slated for demolition as health and safety hazards.
Jill Schramm/MDN • An abandoned house on 10th Street Southwest is on the list of homes ordered by First District Health Unit for removal.
Jim Heckman, environmental health director at the unit, said additional houses could be added to the list yet this year but he expects those numbers to be few. Some houses in the valley might be abandoned but if they are boarded up and not presenting a nuisance or health and safety threat, the health unit would not condemn them, he said.
The health unit is focusing its attention at this time on notifying owners of untouched flooded properties to secure the houses, clean up yards and cut weeds.
Lance Meyer, city engineer, said the city is drafting bid specifications as it prepares to advertise for a contractor to demolish houses that are part of the voluntary buyout program, which was set up to acquire land needed for future flood protection. The condemned houses identified by First District will be included in that demolition contract, he said.
The houses are located at 6 Oak Drive, 12-10th St. SW, 301-15th St. SW, 1001-2nd Ave. SW, 1505-4th Ave. SW, 501 and 509 W. Central Ave, 424-15th St. SE, 415-16th St. SW and 202, 212 and 216 Maple Street.
The city requested funding to demolish 53 homes under a state program targeted to low- to moderate-income households desiring to rebuild. The program recently granted $4.4 million for properties in Minot and for several homes in Ward County and Burlington.
Any flood-affected homeowner in Minot who meets the program's income guidelines and plans to rebuild is eligible for grant assistance to pay for any city-contracted demolition. This applies to completed or future demolition, said Cindy Hemphill, city finance director.
If homeowners don't qualify for the funding assistance, the cost of the demolitions will be special assessed to the properties.
Meyer said environmental reviews are required before demolitions can occur. Based on experience with a previous city demolition project, those reviews could take about 1-1/2 months.