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Nymore housing project put on hold

BEMIDJI – A housing redevelopment project in the Nymore neighborhood will not be going forward for 2013.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development sent a letter to the city recommending that they don’t submit a full application for funds from the Small Cities Development Program.

The letter says that they received 83 preliminary proposals, 33 of which were deemed competitive or marginally competitive. The department estimates it will award about $14 million to 25 projects next year.

“SCDP staff has made the decision that the City of Bemidji Housing project would not be competitive for the 2013 funding cycle,” the letter states.

Tim Flathers, community development director at the Headwaters Regional Development Commission, said Wednesday there weren’t major issues with their proposal.

“My sense is just that it’s an ultra-competitive year,” Flathers said.

Flathers said that he’ll have some conversations with the city about the project, but he anticipated trying again next year. The Bemidji City Council gave the HRDC permission in early September to submit the application.

Flathers said they received about 24 preliminary applications from residents. He said they would like to get closer to 40 applications, which would likely mean enough money for about 20 homes.

The loans would be for rehabilitating homes in the Nymore that were in need of structural improvements and improving energy efficiency, not remodeling projects.

“It’s pretty obvious that the needs over there are substantial,” Flathers said.

The city has previously used funds from the Small Cities Development Program for rehabilitating downtown commercial buildings.

John Hageman

John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.  

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