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The City of Minot has received approval from the North Dakota State Historic Preservation Officer to proceed with the downtown gathering place project. The approval means the City will have no restrictions on the uses and disposition of the property and buildings it will acquire with National Disaster Resilience funds.
As part of the environmental review process, the Department of Housing and Urban Development requires a submission to the State Historical Preservation Officer. Three of the properties being considered for acquisition for the project were identified as potentially having historical significance during the environmental review being undertaken by the city. Those properties were required to be submitted to SHPO for review.
“We appreciate the prompt response from SHPO and their position regarding these buildings. Now we can proceed on this exciting project without the encumberances and costs often associated with historical preservation,” Minot Mayor Shaun Sipma said.
“We’re pleased with this decision that allows us to move forward with the next steps of this process,” City Manager Tom Barry said. “We’ve demonstrated a responsible approach in addressing questions relating to historical properties, and we will continue to do that in the future.”
The environmental review is expected to be completed by mid-November for submission to HUD for approval to allow the actual work on the project to begin. The next step would be making purchase offers to property owners in early December.
“We’re working to reduce the normal timeline of six months for environmental review to three months by consolidating resources and the use of subject matter experts’ time to significantly fast track the required steps,” said John Zakian, National Disaster Resilience Program manager for the City of Minot.