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Devils Lake Journal - Devils Lake, ND
  • Ramsey County to get nearly $5M help with local match on Federal ER projects

  • The North Dakota Department of Transportation was well represented at a meeting in Devils Lake Thursday where representatives of five counties surrounding or affected by Devils Lake flooding came to a consensus on how $6M will be divided up.

     


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  • The North Dakota Department of Transportation was well represented at a meeting in Devils Lake Thursday where representatives of five counties surrounding or affected by Devils Lake flooding came to a consensus on how $6M will be divided up.
    The money is intended to be “local match relief.”
    The lion’s share will go to Ramsey County at just under $5M. Nelson County will get $529,211. Eddy County gets $239,759. Benson County will receive $123,992.
    Towner County will receive none of the $6M initially since its eligible projects are funded at 100 percent and therefore there is no local match required. The other counties have eligible projects, but they are funded at the 80 percent Federal funding, 20 percent local match level.
    There was some discussion at the meeting about the remaining $110,841 but as the counties discussed what lay ahead for them, they agreed to revisit that topic when they come back to gether in the fall and determine where each of them are in the projects they hope to complete.
    “We’re in much better shape than we were when we met last time,” Deputy Director for Engineering for the ND DOT Grant Levi said.
    “We are in much better shape with the weather and the funding.”
    The total federal allocation for North Dakota for 2011 totalled $316.74M. According to Levi that’s a record amount and is nearly one quarter of all federal ER funds available for the entire United States.
    In addition to ER funding, the state anticipates getting about $233M in regular federal funding for the fiscal year of 2012. To date the state has received $170M of that.
    Levi explained about the five event areas in North Dakota that each have a cap of $100M. They are the areas of the Sheyenne and James River, the  southern Mouse River, the west James River, Devils Lake and the remainder of the state.
    Seeking ways to deal with the $100M cap the officials came together with the counties to search for ways to reduce the scope of the repairs and came up with a plan that put off construction that had been planned for US Highway 2 except for the ER project near Penn currently under construction.
    If the lake rises and another disaster occurs, they can submit the requests for segments of US 2 for future ER eligibility and all current ER projects that are under contract at this time in the Devils Lake area will be completed. They are US 281, ND 57, ND 20 and ND 19.
    Levi was pleased to announce that the plan was approved, and he had more good news. A major repair of ND Highway 22 north of Killdeer and other projects that are not in a closed hydrologic Missouri Basin area were removed from the statewide plan. They will be funded separately.
    Page 2 of 2 - Where did the money come from?
    Special Session Senate Bill 2371, titled “State Funding for Emergency Relief Projects” provided the appropriation for the match relief.
    Levi had more good news to share, as well. He said the way things had been going during DOT bid letting they had been seeing 15 contractors bidding for each project so there is lots of competition for these projects. “Now all we need is for fuel prices to go down, that would help a great deal, too.” he added.
    There may be few hurdles to jump, yet, but Levi and his fellow DOT workers on the state and local level, Bryon Fuchs, Steve Salwei and Wade Swenson were optimistic that even where negotiations need to be done, they hope to work through any obstacles and be able to go forward providing safe roads for everyone.
     

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