Bonding bill will help fund flood prep in Minn.

Fighting the Red River flood
Bruce and Vikki Johnson in their home on Riverview Circle in Moorhead, Minn. in a file photo from March 2009. At that time the Johnsons successfully protected their home from the Red River flood. Later, they decided to take a buyout and leave their home.
MPR file photo/Jeffrey Thompson

The state bonding bill will help several Minnesota communities better prepare for flooding.

The bonding bill signed by Gov. Mark Dayton provides $50 million for flood mitigation projects. Much of the money is targeted to projects in the Red River Valley.

Moorhead will receive $16.5 million. City Manager Michael Redlinger said Moorhead officials are eager use that money to buy about 40 flood-prone homes.

"In our case, timing really is of the essence," Redlinger said. "We want to get out and do as much work as we can here late summer and into the fall and really get to demolition."

He said many people living along the Red River are ready to sell.

"Certainly three floods in a row with the possibility of a fourth next spring with it being so wet this summer ... people seem interested," he said.

Moorhead has already purchased 103 flood-prone homes with a combination of state and local money.

Other specific projects in the bonding bill include $3 million for Georgetown — a small town just north of Moorhead, up to $6 million for Roseau, and $1 million for New Ulm.

Other projects will be prioritized through the Department of Natural Resources.

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