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Rebuilding Dreams 3

As Minot continues its recovery from the 2011 flood, work is underway on housing and infrastructure needs.

But there’s also a project to help revitalize the city’s downtown core. As part of our series “Minot-Rebuilding Dreams,” Prairie Public’s Dave Thompson reports on those plans for Minot’s downtown.

“You know, we’ve got a great downtown in Minot, and it’s going to be even better, thanks to this fabulous project.”

Senator John Hoeven – who grew up in Minot – was back to talk about a federal grant to help with the “Imagine Downtown” project. The 140-million dollar facelift includes federal, state and local money – and a substantial infusion of private capital. The project includes new building, renovation of older buildings, as well as affordable housing. Governor Dalrymple calls the project a symbol of Minot’s resilience.

“We really should be proud, and we really should congratulate Minot on an amazing recovery from a terrible natural disaster," said Dalrymple. "This project is a great symbol of it.”

The US Economic Development Administration has committed 18-million dollars to the project. That money will help with downtown infrastructure – including water and sewer, sidewalks and streets.

“The city of Minot has been on a journey, and a journey of recovery and resilience," said USEDA Assistant Secretary Matt Erskine." And you can all be extremely proud of the incredible work that you have done and continue to do to rebuild and create a more resilient and prosperous community.”

Erskine also challenged the city of Minot.

“I challenge you to make this EDA project such a success, that in the months and years ahead, we can and will point to it as a shining example of the type of partnership that will serve as a model for communities across the country – the kind of example they can look to as they rebuild their communities and get people working again.”

Minot Mayor Curt Zimbelman says having a healthy downtown is a keystone towards Minot’s recovery.

“As our community continues to recover from the 2011 flood, revitalizing the downtown area will help to continue the momentum of reopening businesses, opening new businesses, creating jobs and returning to a healthy, attractive and vibrant center for our residents to shop, dine and work.”

Bob Miller is a Minot alderman. His district includes the downtown area. He says the “Imagine Downtown” project is a winner – for a number of reasons.

“The major overriding problem in Minot right now is housing," said Miller." And a large part of this project will be dedicated to affordable housing.”

Miller also likes the idea that downtown will be a destination.

Bonny Kemper is the president of the Minot Downtowners.

"I love the downtown," said Kemper.  “The downtown of the city, of any city, is the heart of the city. And this is ‘heart-health.’ We are going to get a boost to our city. And we deserve it.”

Kemper says she can’t wait to see what downtown Minot looks like five years from now.

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