Minot's abandoned flood homes, better known as Zombie Homes, are gaining more support in clean up efforts from local and national officials.
Bonnie Campo takes us to a Zombie Homes meeting among city officials, Representative Kevin Cramer and hopeful citizens.
On the corner of 8th street and Colton Ave a group of about 15 people came together to find out what's next for Minot's Zombie Homes. That included North Dakota's only house of representatives member who says the issue needs special attention.
(Kevin Cramer, U.S. House of Represenatives) "I'm here because I was invited by this particular home owner group, who seem to have fallen between the cracks of some of the federal programs, state programs and local opportunities, and that sort of don't fit a lot of the programs, and that have needs that are clearly urgent."
So urgent in fact that the city has asked all of it's engineering, building inspection and traffic departments to take today to document these abandon homes. Both for posed health hazards and for safety.
(Lance Meyer, City Engineer) "There's about 436 properties we are going to try and inspect today. They are short inspections, at this time we are only going to inspect from the streets or alleys. What we are trying to do is look at every single on of these properties, classify them. There is 24 different categories we'll be looking at, and those relate to our city ordinance regarding nuisances."
The city ordinance states police officers should be the ones investigating these violations, but Meyer said Minot P.D. has enough on their plate and that money and man power are in short supply all around the city. So they have to pick their battles, and that's what the inspections are for.
(Lance Meyer, City Engineer) "The hardest hit homes, or the ones that present the most safety issues, and we can prioritize that work, and try to get those taken care of right away."
While the city documents those properties, Congressman Cramer said he will look into grants, federal aid, and a host of other opportunities. But he thinks everyone must come together before real progress can be made.
(Kevin Cramer, U.S. House of Represenatives) "This is an issue that's going to require more than just Washington. It's going to require community, state, federal government stake holders working together."
Just 30 minutes later Minot's City Council unanimously passed an emergency plan that would allocate funding to help these Zombie Homes rest in peace. In Minot, Bonnie Campo KX News.
Once city officials process today's data, the Magic City Website will host an interactive map of Zombie Home locations and potential threats they might pose.