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WDAY: The News Leader

Published October 16, 2012, 09:53 AM

Ground broken for New Minnewaukan development

MINNEWAUKAN, N.D. (AP) — Officials have launched a multimillion-dollar effort to move the community of Minnewaukan out of reach of the chronically flooding Devils Lake.

MINNEWAUKAN, N.D. (AP) — Officials have launched a multimillion-dollar effort to move the community of Minnewaukan out of reach of the chronically flooding Devils Lake.

The federal government is providing $6 million to buy out homes, move others, and help build water and sewer lines and access roads to the site dubbed New Minnewaukan, according to the state's congressional delegation and governor. The state also has provided millions of dollars in recent years to help the town move to safety. The city has spent some of its own money.

"The people of Minnewaukan have shown tremendous perseverance and ingenuity in their efforts to preserve their community, and this funding will help to secure it for many years to come," Gov. Jack Dalrymple, Sens. Kent Conrad and John Hoeven and Rep. Rick Berg said in a joint statement.

Devils Lake — which used to be 8 miles from Minnewaukan — has been expanding for two decades because of wet weather, steadily encroaching on the community that had a population of more than 300 people in 2000 but is now home to fewer than 200.

Many buildings already have been moved, along with a highway on the town's east edge. A new $11 million school funded by the federal and state governments also is under construction. Staff is expected to move in over the Christmas holiday, according to the Grand Forks Herald.

Ground was broken Monday for infrastructure projects at the new site, which is about a mile away and 30 feet higher than the town's original site.

Eleven families so far have decided to move to New Minnewaukan, City Auditor Sherri Thompson told the Herald.

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