WASHINGTON - Minot could become eligible for more federal flood assistance under a bill working its way through Congress.
The legislation before the Senate would make $17 billion in disaster Community Development Block Grant funds available to help recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The legislation had included a provision for $100 million to help communities struggling to recover from disasters in 2011 and 2012. An amendment offered by Sens. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., and John Hoeven, R-N.D., increased this set aside to $500 million.
"Given the continuing need in Minot alone, it is clear $100 million for the whole country is woefully inadequate," Conrad said. "Our amendment makes significantly more resources available to Minot and cities in a similar situation."
"CDBG funds are important to help communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy, but they are also important to communities that have unmet needs like Minot, which is recovering from the worst disaster in its history," Hoeven said.
The CDBG funds would be awarded competitively, based on the amount of damage, the cost of recovery and the ability of local governments to fund that recovery.
The city of Minot was devastated by an historic flood last year. Over 4,000 homes were impacted, many of them severely damaged. The city received a CDBG-Disaster Recovery grant of $67.5 million but still has $200 million in unmet needs that could qualify for additional CDBG-DR funding.