City leaders make pitch to EDA for downtown development funding
Posted on 9/19/2012
City leaders presented in Denver this morning (Wednesday, September 19), asking the Economic Development Administration (EDA) for millions to develop and improve downtown Minot.
The City's request asks for help in upgrading water mains, storm sewer lines, sanitary sewer lines and paving within 25 city blocks that make up the bulk of downtown Minot. The $22.9 million request would be combined with a city and developer match that would make almost $30 million in upgrades to systems that are nearly 100 years old.
"We are glad that the EDA asked us to come and make a presentation about our unmet needs in person. Obviously we are not the only place in the country that experienced a natural disaster in the past two years and so we expect additional competition for this special funding," said Curt Zimbelman, mayor of Minot. "Having this funding will provide for increased stability in a portion of the rental apartment market while allowing the City to make some sorely needed upgrades to critical infrastructure that businesses, health care and others rely on."
This $22.9 million investment would be a catalyst for businesses and stable jobs in the downtown area, will provide for an attractive, healthy, vibrant downtown for both existing residents, and for residents and businesses looking to relocate from other places. City leaders estimate that the EDA, City of Minot and developer investments would have a long-term economic impact between $485 million and $591 million.
Making the trip to the EDA Region VIII Office with Mayor Zimbelman were City Manager David Waind, Finance Director Cindy Hemphill, Public Works Director Dan Jonasson, North Dakota OMB Director Pam Sharp, Regional Flood Recovery Coordinator Jason Zimmerman and Souris Basin Planning Council Development Specialist Lyndsay Ulrickson.
The EDA did not give an immediate response as to how much of the funding request they would approve. EDA has already supported various projects in Minot over the last 18 months, including funding for a regional flood recovery coordinator, a public information officer for flood recovery and a Community Study Grant. Final approval from EDA was just given this week supporting $1.6 million in infrastructure improvements to North Hill near the intersection of 16th Street and 21st Avenue NW.