Seeking Flood Protection Funds

Minot families needing flood insurance could face a massive expense if flood protection is delayed.
That’s one reason city officials were asking legislators for more money to move forward the Mouse River Flood Protection Project.
Jim Olson reports from the legislature in tonight’s top story.

The Souris River Joint Board figures it could get close to 300-million dollars of work done on flood protection along the Mouse River from 2019 through 2021. But that would require about 186-million from the state, and that’s not happening.

(Dan Jonasson, Souris River Joint Board) “We know the resources aren’t there.”

Instead, Dan Jonasson asked members of the House Appropriations Committee to devote 100-million dollars to the project for the coming biennium. That would be a big increase from what’s being considered right now. The governor recommended 70-million, and the Senate cut that to 65-million, citing the fact that the project has not yet spent about 53-million dollars in state funds from previous legislative sessions.
Jonnason explained that the money is committed to two-and three-year projects that have not yet been finished – so payments haven’t been made yet.

(Dan Jonasson, Souris River Joint Board) “We fully expect to use up all the money that has been allocated by the end of the year.”

Minot Mayor Shaun Sipma also testified today, telling legislators that the city needs to finish flood protection as soon as possible to minimize the impact of impending rate increases for federal flood insurance.
Sipma offered one family’s situation as an example – a family facing, not only big debt due to rebuilding after the flood but also huge flood insurance costs in the future.

(Shaun Sipma, Minot Mayor) “Their annual flood insurance premium through the National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP, will be approximately $12,000 annually once the rates become actuarial.”

The committee took no action on the proposals today but will be considering the request in the next couple of weeks. Jim Olson, KX News.

The first three phases of the billion-dollar flood control project are due to be complete by the summer of 2020.

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