County Applies For State Buyout Money - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

County Applies For State Buyout Money

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Ward County is putting in a request for 14.6 million dollars of state funds for buyouts of flooded property.

Commissioners this morning received information on the request from Ryan Ackerman of Ackerman-Estvold Engineers.

He passed out several maps detailing dozens of homes that the company believes would qualify under the state-funded buyout program.

 

The legislature put 50 million dollars into a fund for buyouts - and the State Water Commission is meeting Friday to decide how to distribute the money.

The commission vote today puts Ward County on the list requesting a portion of that money.

(Ryan Ackerman, Ackerman-Estvold Engineers) "This doesn't tie your hands. What we're doing is getting a placeholder in there with some credible backing information to get a request in there to get some funds appropriated to Ward County."

The State Water Commission has sent out proposed rules for distributing the 50 million dollars - and Special Assistant Attorney General Howard Swanson told the county commissioners there are some provisions he finds troublesome.

He says one proposed rule would require proof that the property to be acquired would not qualify for a buyout under a federal program called "404" - that's hazard mitigation grant money.

(Howard Swanson, Special Asst. Attorney General) "If that is in fact the position the State Water Commission takes, it will delay funding for months if not years. And they may or may not be aware of that."

Swanson says he hoped the Water Commission will reconsider that rule - and a few others that may make the buyout process slower than it needs to be.

The city of Minot is also expected to make a request for a portion of the 50 million dollars.

 

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