City Still Waiting on CDBG Fund Answer - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

City Still Waiting on CDBG Fund Answer

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We're in a holding pattern.

That's how Minot's finance director describes the situation for the city waiting for tens of millions of dollars in flood recovery funds.

Cindy Hemphill says the city filed its plan for spending 35-million dollars in Community Development Block Grant money with the Department of Housing and Urban Development in August.

And, under federal guidelines, the city was to have heard a response from HUD by the end of September.

But then the government shut down some of its operations, putting many federal workers on furlough - and the city's plan has been in limbo ever since.

Hemphill says she has had conversations with HUD officials that have left her confused - but hoping for an answer within a week or so.

(Cindy Hemphill, Minot City Finance Director) "Now they've told us that they get to take an additional number of days that they were off on furlough before they give us the approval. Like I said I don't fully understand that explanation but that's what it is so they anticipate letting us know on November 4th."

One part of the city's plan calls for offering grants to homeowners who rebuilt their flood-damaged homes.

So far, 758 people have registered, hoping to qualify for up to ten thousand dollars in grant money from CDBG.

Hemphill hopes more people will register so the city will have a good idea of how many of the applications meet the low-to-moderate income requirement, or L-M-I.

Normally, 51% of the CDBG funds in such a program must meet L-M-I requirements, but Hemphill says the applications coming in are not at that percentage.

(Cindy Hemphill, Minot City Finance Director) "We're starting to get a feel for where we're at - we're at 31%, a little over 31% that are LMI, which has come up we were at 29% earlier, so we're hopeful that more people will apply and get us to the number we need to be on that one."

Hemphill says if the city ends up with a percentage of L-M-I that's under 51%, she will ask for a waiver of that requirement so funds can be made available to as many people as possible.

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