New Round of Buyouts Gets Funding - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

New Round of Buyouts Gets Funding

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Another round of home buyouts for both the city of Minot and Ward County was approved by the State Water Commission Monday.

The commission is sending more than 24-million dollars to the city for purchasing 117 properties , and has approved the acquisition of another 21 properties by Ward County - using funds already awarded to the county.

Bruce Englehardt of the Water Commission said most of the county properties are lots that are owned by people who have already sold their primary homes to the county.

In the city, about half of the homes proposed for purchase have not been rehabilitated and will be offered buyouts using pre-flood value plus 15%.

That's expected to cost about 12-million dollars.

The other half of the plan is for involuntary acquisition of 60 homes that have been rebuilt since the flood.

Those homeowners will be offered current fair market value, plus a payment for housing replacement, and moving assistance.

The cost estimate for those 60 homes is more than 20-million dollars.

The State Water Commission approved sending 24-point-4 million dollars to the city for the new buyouts

The acquisitions would be followed by demolition of the homes to make room for flood control structures that also received funding assistance from the Water Commission on Monday.

In addition, City Finance Director Cindy Hemphill told commission members the city is working on another program to buy abandoned property.

(Cindy Hemphill, Minot City Finance Director) "The other thing the city is working on in conjunction with some funds we received from the state is a community land trust where we'd like to buy some abandoned properties that have been foreclosed on but are not in the footprint of the flood protection program and buy those properties and have affordable housing on them."

Hemphill also told Water Commission members the city is looking into a system of gaining permission to inspect abandoned homes to determine if they are a hazard and should be torn down.

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