Committee approves study grant for Velva

Developers are knocking on Velva’s door, and the city wants be prepared to handle that growth.

The City of Velva received support from the MAGIC Fund Screening Committee Friday for a $14,500 grant to complete an economic development plan. The committee’s recommendation goes to the Minot City Council July 1.

Jerry Chavez, president of Minot Area Development Corp., urged the committee to approve the grant to give Velva a tool in working with developers.

“Velva is doing what they need to do to ensure they are growing in a smart manner,” he said. “But beyond that, it allows them the type of development that’s controlled.”

Alan Walter, engineer with Ackerman-Estvold Engineering and Management Consulting of Minot, the company that would develop the plan, said Velva already is under development pressure with a proposed residential project north of town and a possible new motel in the city.

“This is going to be more than a plan. It’s going to be a development guide for them,” Walter said. The study will examine existing zoning and potential growth areas to determine the best land uses.

Total cost of the study is $43,500. Velva has allocated $10,000 from its budget to help in the cost of developing the plan. The city also intends to apply for funding from the McHenry County Job Development Fund Authority.

Also at Friday’s meeting, city finance director Cindy Hemphill informed the committee that Minot’s city sales tax collections continue to run about 20 percent below anticipated, which affects MAGIC Fund income. However, the fund currently has $3.5 million in unobligated collections.