City Making Moves on Zombie Homes - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

City Making Moves on Zombie Homes

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Minot's City Council is likely to vote Monday on 300-thousand dollars in funding for dealing with so-called zombie homes in Minot.

The council's Public Works Committee voted in favor of the funding yesterday.

City officials say they have already begun sending out notices to people with derelict properties - buildings that pose a danger to the public and need immediate work.

The zombie home process began with the efforts of two Minot citizens - Lianne Zeltinger and Shaun Sipma.

Melinda Bolton talked with them today about the progress in dealing with zombie homes.

(Lianne Zeltinger, Valley Resident) "Feet are on the ground from the city actually working; actively cleaning up, barricading the properties, cleaning up the properties. They've sent out the contract, done the bidding..."

(Melinda Bolton, Reporter) "Lianne Zeltinger is happy that the process has begun.

But how long can it last with a budget of 300 thousand dollars?"

(Shaun Sipma, Valley Resident) "The additional $300,000.00, I think will go a long way. But I think it's just another step when you're talking about three hundred plus homes that fall under different variations of problems, we're going to find that, I think, this cost goes well into the millions by the time it's all said and done."

(Melinda Bolton, Reporter) "Sipma hopes the city won't be alone in dealing with the homes that have been largely untouched since the 2011 flood. He's hoping that the state will provide additional aid."

(Shaun Sipma, Valley Resident) "We can go back to the State Legislature this session when it comes up in early 2015 and see if we can get some more money allocated for emergency spending in terms of the recovery outside of the flood control project."

(Melinda Bolton, Reporter) "Without more funding, city officials said the cost of dealing with zombie homes may be paid by all of us through tax money."

(Lianne Zeltinger, Valley Resident) "None of us wanted to use up our savings. None of us wanted to have to rebuild our home. So, with that being said, what other choice do we have?"

(Melinda Bolton, Reporter) "Though the ball is certainly rolling, Sipma says, this isn't an overnight fix".

(Shaun Sipma, Valley Resident) "And then the legal process to actually go through, for a municipality, to fix a personal property, it really does become a lengthy and expensive process. It is not a quick fix. It is not an easy fix."

(Melinda Bolton, Reporter) "Both Zeltinger and Sipma hope many of the properties will be restored to houses, because empty lots don't make a neighborhood. In Minot, Melinda Bolton, KX News."

 

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