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Published April 06, 2012, 07:48 PM

Minnewaukan Residents Face Daunting Task of Moving Homes From Floodwaters

MINNEWAUKAN, ND (WDAZ-TV) - City officials say they hope to get the project moving again after they say federal guidelines delayed the development of the new town site.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

MINNEWAUKAN, ND (WDAZ-TV) - City officials say they hope to get the project moving again after they say federal guidelines delayed the development of the new town site.

The new Minnewaukan town site isn't equipped to support any buildings yet, but city officials are asking the federal government for help to speed up the process.

Water is destroying homes in Minnewaukan, leaving nothing but water-filled holes where houses once stood. More homes are in danger.

"I moved here in 1976 and from my house, it was nine miles to the lake. Now it's a block south and a block east," Minnewaukan Mayor Mark Motis said.

25 homes have been moved out of town. Now there is a new town site across the highway for people who want to stay in Minnewaukan. The first building on the site is a new school.

"In those three years it was nine-foot raise in our area and it was on the parking lot of our present school," Minnewaukan School Superintendent Myron Jury said.

There are 17 homes in a relocation program and 69 in an acquisition program which could be moved to the new site. Those who chose to move will be in for a challenge.

"It's going to be a piece of land. It will have streets. It will not have curb and gutters and pavement right away, so for the people that are relocating out there it's going to be a very busy time for them because they're going to have to start from scratch," City Auditor and flood project manager Sherri Thompson said.

An environmental study has stalled infrastructure development for a year. Mayor Mark Motis says the site has finally been approved, pending a public comment period. He says the wait is frustrating for the town's citizens.

"Some of the houses that were moved out of town could have well been put up here in this area if the water and sewer had been here," Motis said.

Motis asked the federal government for $1.2 million to help install water and sewer systems at the new town site. Despite the red tape, he says the town would whither and die without federal aid.

"Without the federal assistance, there wouldn't be a school here and there wouldn't be a new town site, plain and simple," Motis said.

City officials say they hope to the approval and funding soon enough to install water and sewer systems by the end of the summer.

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