- Associated Press - Thursday, September 11, 2014

MINOT, N.D. (AP) - Minot is getting $1 million in state funding to help deal with properties left neglected or abandoned after a devastating flood in 2011.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple announced Wednesday that the money from the state Division of Emergency Services has been released to hire Washington, D.C.-based Witt O’Brien’s LLC.

The Souris River swamped more than 4,000 homes, businesses and other structures in Minot in June 2011.

City officials earlier had identified more than 400 properties left neglected or abandoned. The consultant, which opened an office in Mandan last month, has begun the process of researching ownership on blighted, flooded properties in Minot to assist the city in acquiring and getting lots cleaned up.

Dalrymple said the city needs outside help to sort out property ownership and other issues.

“It’s a tedious, big job to get title to that property. We are bringing in consultants to help them do that job,” Dalrymple told the Minot Daily News (https://bit.ly/1rXMEVU ).

Mayor Chuck Barney said the city is swamped with other issues besides flooding, including impacts spurred by oil development in the region.

“Our staff in the city is so busy with just the growth and everything else that’s going on in our community, so we are very grateful for the state’s assistance and the governor’s leadership,” he said.

Cindy Hemphill, Minot’s interim city manager, said the consultants are working off the city’s list of abandoned and blighted homes. Consultants are looking at 40 to 60 properties as priorities.

Consultants are focusing on houses where ownership is in question because of foreclosure proceedings, Hemphill said.

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Information from: Minot Daily News, https://www.minotdailynews.com

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