A 30-day challenge by a housing developer could mean $100,000 for flood-recovery efforts in Minot.
Kent Busek, with Stonebridge Development Corp., announced the challenge during a ribbon cutting Tuesday on the completion of about 200 housing units north of the Minot airport. Busek vowed to match, dollar for dollar, donations up to $50,000 to the flood-relief efforts of Hope Village and its partners over the next month.
"We wanted to do something to help Minot rebuild," said Busek, a Minot native now living in Fargo, who is developing family property with his three siblings. "We were looking for a cause. We were looking for the right people."
Jill Schramm/MDN • Betsy and Jack Dalrymple, left, and the Rev. Paul Krueger of Hope Village listen Tuesday to Kent Busek, right, with Stonebridge Development talk about his plans to assist with Minot’s flood recovery.
Jill Schramm/MDN • Gov. Jack Dalrymple speaks as he stands next to Kent Busek with Stonebridge Development in front of a newly built twin home Tuesday. Members of the red-coated Minot Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors were on hand for a ribbon cutting.
They found both at Hope Village, a multi-denominational, faith-based volunteer center that houses, feeds and assigns jobs to out-of-town volunteer teams. Busek and his family members began helping and supporting the work. Now Busek has arranged to deed a property to Hope Village and then match the value of the donation after its sale.
People can donate online at (www.hopevillagend.org/ dollar-for-dollar). Checks also can be mailed to Hope Village, 3705-11th St. SW, Minot, N.D. 58701. Credit card contributions may be made by phone at 240-1495.
Hope Village will direct grant money to the Long Term Recovery Committee to assist clients with unmet needs and to partners such as Recovery Warehouse, which supplies construction materials.
"We are just absolutely honored to have such great leaders step up and say, 'We would like to make the future recovery continue to happen for the people of Minot,'" the Rev. Paul Krueger, Hope Village's director, said in response to the donation.
The $50,000 challenge goes out to businesses and individuals across the nation.
Among the first to respond were Gov. Jack Dalrymple and his wife, Betsy. Dalrymple pledged a contribution at Tuesday's event, joking that "We will make sure that Kent has to come through for us."
Dalrymple credited Stonebridge for breaking ground on Minot's first big development after the flood. The company had the conviction to step in when most developers might have been satisfied to wait until the next spring to start, he said.
"We really knew that was going to be too long to wait for some new houses to come around. We can see now literally hundreds of units available, and many more coming. You see nothing but acres and acres and acres of homes being built. This is certainly what we like to see in Minot," Dalrymple said.
Busek said his original intention a year and a half ago was to start construction in the spring of 2012. But with the flood aggravating what already was a housing shortage, he moved up plans and broke ground Sept. 10, 2011. As a result of the earlier start, 200 housing units are available and another 80 acres with 300 homes is in the works.
"In a little over a year, we have probably done three to four years of work," Busek said.
Dalrymple added that the state also is working to assist in developing low-income housing in Minot. Ground has broken on four projects that will create 110 affordable units, he said.
Meanwhile, Hope Village continues to coordinate volunteers to help in rebuilding flooded homes, although its housing operation has ceased for the winter. The goal is to rebuild 500 homes.
Since April, Hope Village has worked with 238 volunteer teams consisting of 2,016 volunteers who have worked 79,828 hours toward flood relief. The value of that labor is estimated at nearly $1.4 million.
The village continues to seek local and outside volunteer help, particularly from those with skills in carpentry, framing, insulation, drywall hanging, mudding and taping and electrical. For information, call 240-1495.