The City of Minot has closed on two-thirds of homes participating in the initial round of voluntary property acquisitions tied to the 2011 Souris River flood.
Of the 108 offers made by the city earlier this year, 84 property owners accepted a voluntary purchase offer and 57 transactions have closed or are scheduled to close. The city anticipates closing on the remaining 27 properties in coming weeks.
"The city's initial round of voluntary property acquisitions took us longer than expected, but we're grateful that such a high number of property owners were patient and willing to work with us in our effort to fight future floods," said Cindy Hemphill, city finance director. "By purchasing these homes, the city will be better able to fight any future flooding that may occur prior to finishing an enhanced flood protection plan. The access and open space for emergency flood protection is sorely needed."
Of the 57 properties on which sales have closed or are scheduled to close, the city will have spent just over $7.3 million. The funding comes from the North Dakota State Water Commission and from federal dollars through the city's Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery.
Of the properties that remain to be purchased, some will close after the first of the year while others are pending approval on receipts for eligible repairs or clear titles.
Hemphill says the city is in the process of determining guidelines, policies and procedures that will apply to future rounds of voluntary property acquisitions. The City expects to secure additional state funds in 2013 that can be used toward another round of voluntary acquisitions.
The governor's budget requests that the 2013 Legislature appropriate $61 million for the Mouse River Flood Protection Project, which would allow for additional property purchases.
The city experienced record flooding in 2011, causing main floor damage to 2,716 homes in the valley.