Officials learn about grant programs

Louise Oleson, Editor
North Dakota State Hazard Mitigation officer Ray Morrell was in Devils Lake Tuesday to help local elected officials understand the process of applying for grants from the federal government to help with home acquisitions and relocations due to flooding.

Anyone who has ever had to work with governmentally funded programs knows sometimes it can be a bit tricky navigating red tape and bureaucracy.

You go through all the work to get all the information submitted to the proper agency or department only to find you’re not eligible for one reason or another.

Sound familiar?

Ray Morrell who is the State Hazard Mitigation officer for North Dakota was in Devils Lake Tuesday afternoon for a session with elected officials and a few property owners talking about the many grant programs he oversees including home acquisition and home relocation programs.

His message was that there is help for befuddled county commissioners, overworked mayors and confused property owners when it comes to working with these federal grants.

He started off explaining what mitigation is. It is providing a permanent solution whereby reducing or eliminating the effects of future disasters.

Then he proceeded to give a thorough presentation about property acquisitions and relocations, the law, types of grant programs, where the money comes from, what it will cost, what can be used as matching funds and who can apply.

He recommended any government entity dealing with acquisition and relocations take further training and he made dates available for sessions he had planned in Mandan in the coming months.

He also recommended utilizing an experience agency that could serve the county or city as granting agent, like North Centeral Planning or KLJ. Both those firms are familiar with the process and have experience navigating the red tape and bureaucracy.