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Posted on: November 5, 2018

City launches final environmental review step for gathering place

The City of Minot is in the final stages of completing the environmental review process for the proposed downtown gathering place project.

Mayor Shaun Sipma has signed the required Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), which shows that no environmental related obstacles were identified during an assessment of the proposed site.

A mandatory 15-day waiting period for public comment began Nov. 7 with a published legal notice. After the waiting period, the environmental review will be sent to the Denver Regional Office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The final steps require HUD approval and issuance of a “Release of Funds” notice to the City. Once that notice is received, the City can proceed with offers to purchase property.

“The City has worked to expedite the environmental review for this project and to meet our own deadline of submitting the completed review to HUD in mid-November,” Sipma said. “We’re pleased that this project continues to make progress.”

The National Environmental Protection Act, which governs all federal grant funds, stipulates that no project or activity can begin until an environmental review is completed and approved by the federal department or agency administering the grant.

“We’re looking forward to taking the next steps to make this project a reality as soon as possible,” City Manager Tom Barry said. “We’ve proven that we are committed to this project, and we continue to work closely with HUD to accomplish our goal of bringing a new gathering place to downtown Minot.”

John Zakian, disaster resilience grant program manager for the City of Minot, said he expects HUD to approve the environmental review fairly quickly. He said the City will be prepared to send out offers to property owners in the gathering place site footprint as soon as HUD approves the review.

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