Minot City Council modifies, then approves the CDBG-DR Action Plan
Posted on 7/12/2012
The Minot City Council directed City staff this afternoon to modify the proposed Action Plan for use of more than $67.5 million in federal funds. The Action Plan for the Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery funds will still include improvements to the 6th Street SE underpass and storm drain, but with only half of the previously proposed allocation of $4.5 million. The City Council made this change and reallocated the remaining $2.25 million equally to the rehabilitation of flooded homes and reconstruction of flooded homes.
The City will now submit the modified Action Plan to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD will have up to 45 days to review the plan. The City does not expect to have any money tied into specific CDBG-DR projects released from HUD for at least the next two months.
The City's CDBG-DR Action Plan details projects for rehabilitation, reconstruction or acquisition of homeowner properties, as well as provide assistance for rental units and improve flooded infrastructure. Once updated, the Action Plan for CDBG-DR funds can be viewed on this website.
HUD requirements do not allow the City of Minot to provide individual cash payments directly to homeowners. HUD has also told City staff that the CDBG-DR funds are not to be used as an expense reimbursement for homeowners who have already incurred costs for rehabilitation or reconstruction. Another key requirement of the grant is that at least 51 percent of all project activities have to benefit low- to moderate-income (LMI) individuals or families. A family of six making at or less than $59,250, or a family of two making at or less than $40,850 would qualify for those projects designed to assist LMI households.
Proposed Project Activities
With affordable housing a top priority for City leaders, the proposed Action Plan for use of CDBG-DR funds supports the following ideas directed to homeowner housing:
- Acquisition for affordable housing development. The City will seek to purchase 50 vacant lots to develop affordable housing, $7.3 million.
- Acquisition of flooded properties. The City will use CDBG-DR funds as a match for North Dakota State Water Commission funds intended to buy flooded properties that may be used for green space or flood access/control, $6 million.
- Rehabilitation of flooded properties. For those homeowners that meet LMI levels, approximately 70 households will be assisted with repair funds, $4.55+ million.
- Reconstruction of flooded properties. For those homeowners that meet LMI levels, approximately 60+ households will be assisted with reconstruction of their homes if they are not able to rehabilitate, $9.525 million.
- Northern Housing Development infrastructure. The City will provide infrastructure for a new housing development outside the flood area with 51 percent affordable housing, $5 million.
Recognizing that not all those impacted by the flood were homeowners, the City proposes using funds that will benefit rental housing:
- Minot Place Townhomes tax credit rental units infrastructure. The City would assist developing 30 LMI rental units in southeast Minot, $400,000.
- "Imagine Downtown" downtown development parking facility. Support for the development of approximately 54 LMI rental units in downtown Minot, $3 million.
- Infrastructure repairs downtown. The City would repair damaged and aged storm water sewers to support affordable rental units, $2.375 million.
Since a variety of key infrastructure and public facilities were impacted during the 2011 Mouse River flood, the City would apply CDBG-DR funds and leverage dollars from other sources, like the North Dakota Trust Lands Department, to make needed repairs and upgrades. These would impact sanitary sewer lift stations throughout the City, a landfill expansion, a northern sewer project development and a fire station to serve new housing developments. These infrastructure projects have a total cost of $20.03+ million.
The proposed projects have administrative and delivery costs, including for some environmental reviews and construction management. As well, the City has identified a need to allocate a portion of the funds for effective recovery planning. The grant allows the City of Minot to spend up to 20 percent of the allocated funds on administration and planning. The City is proposing to use less than half that amount and spend just over $4.8 million, or 7.1 percent, on items such as an unmet needs assessment, an emergency disaster plan and additional temporary City staff.