800 million dollars.
That’s how much funding must be found to complete the flood protection project along the Mouse River in North Dakota.
Jim Olson is with us live right now to tell us about this big hurdle facing the project.
It’s a staggering amount – 800-million dollars – but it’s what the lead engineer on the Mouse River Enhanced Flood Protection Project says must still be secured for the $1.1 billion dollar project to be finished.
Ryan Ackerman laid out the financial stats today as a special two-day session began in Minot.
Officials from FEMA, other government agencies, and private experts, are meeting with city officials to talk about alternatives for funding.
(Nancy Dragani, FEMA Deputy Regional Administrator) “There just isn’t enough in the current federal programs to get there. So in order to do that, this kind of activity with all of these partners is really critical as we look for a solution.”
(Tom Barry, Minot City Manager) “How do we finance this enormous project which we know is going to benefit so many, not just in the city of Minot and Ward County but all throughout the Souris River Basin. So this has been a really wonderful opportunity to get everybody together and talk through.”
The first four phases of the project will take years to finish and cost about 325-million dollars.
They will protect about 60% of the city when they’re finished.
But the rest of the project to protect the remainder of Minot plus all of the other areas along the river along its path through North Dakota is in limbo, awaiting answers on where and when funds can be found.
The hope is to find some answers at the meetings that continue through tomorrow morning.