Reimbursement program narrows list of applicants

Slightly more than 700 homeowners have applied for assistance from a reimbursement program designed to help residents who are rebuilding from the 2011 flood, according to program administrator CDM Smith. Signup will continue through the remainder of this year.

The program has $5 million available from the federal Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery funds awarded to the City of Minot. CDM Smith listed a higher number of applicants previously, but a number of those homeowners since have been determined ineligible, mainly due to location. The program covers only flooded homes within the city and is not available to residents living in the footprint of the flood protection plan, even if they chose to repair their homes rather than accept a voluntary buyout.

Once applications close on Dec. 31, CDM Smith will begin contacting homeowners to arrange site visits and to review receipts. The verification process is expected to take about three months, although the city could pay the first reimbursements as early as February. Reimbursements should be fully paid out before June 30.

Bob Batherson, senior project manager at CDM Smith, said additional applicants could be disqualified if they are found to be ineligible during the verification process.

To be eligible, homeowners must have lived in the house prior to the flood and continue to live in the home. The program will reimburse up to $10,000 for repair expenses incurred during the calendar year following the flood. At least half of the CDBG money must go to benefit lower income residents.