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Minot still in the running in nation competition for disaster recovery grant of up to $500M

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MINOT, North Dakota — Minot has advanced in a national competition for a portion of nearly $1 billion in federal disaster recovery money as it continues to rebound from Souris River flooding in 2011.

Minot, Ward County and the Souris River Joint Board together have been competing against nearly 70 other applicants in the Housing and Urban Development's National Disaster Resiliency Competition, which aims to help communities recover from disasters and make them better able to handle future disasters by giving them up to $500 million.

The Minot-area bid is among 40 that have advanced to the next round, based on an outline of what they want to achieve. Those selected for the competition's second and final phase will now develop specific projects, due in October, with award recipients named early next year.

The Souris River flood damaged or destroyed more than 4,000 homes and other structures in Minot in June 2011, causing nearly $700 million in damage. The city submitted a competition proposal in March focusing on five areas: flood protection and river management; safe, affordable housing; resilient transportation and infrastructure; economic development; and strategies to support vulnerable populations.

The city earlier this month appointed longtime City Planner Donna Bye as chief resilience officer to bolster the bid.

Minot will hold public meetings as it develops its specific project, as it did when it developed the outline, according to City Manager Lee Staab.

"It is critically important for us to have the public's input as we really get into the nuts and bolts of what we can do with these federal funds" should Minot be awarded any money, he said.

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