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NORTH DAKOTA NEWS: Three years to fix Dickinson ... Minot to get canola plant

Three years to fix Dickinson It might take as long as three years for Dickinson to rebuild from the tornado that devastated the south part of the city two weeks ago, Mayor Dennis Johnson said. Damage from the July 8 tornado has been estimated at ...

Three years to fix Dickinson

It might take as long as three years for Dickinson to rebuild from the tornado that devastated the south part of the city two weeks ago, Mayor Dennis Johnson said.

Damage from the July 8 tornado has been estimated at $20 million. No one was hurt, but officials estimate 450 homes were struck. At a briefing this week on cleaup efforts, Johnson said he believes about 46 apartment buildings were lost, along with about 40 homes.

Last year, the city of 16,000 people issued about 70 single-family housing permits.

"It would look to me that we lost about a one-year supply," Johnson said. "If Dickinson continues to grow, we not only have to keep up with that growth, we have to make up what we lost."

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Officials are praising the volunteers who helped tornado victims. "It's amazing how people stepped in and helped with the demolition part of it, picking up the streets, everybody," said Tammy Galipeau, who lost part of her home.

More than 1,200 tons of material have been brought to the landfill, City Administrator Shawn Kessel said.

Johnson said cleanup is mostly finished, and the focus is now on recovery.

City officials have started an "unmet needs" committee to help pay for clothing, housing and other things not covered by agencies or insurance, said the Rev. Steve Tangen, a member of the committee.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's North Dakota coordinator, Tito Hernandez, said about 388 families have registered with the agency so far for aid. FEMA has provided about $119,000 in grants to the tornado victims, he said.

Johnson said the city may be able to turn the disaster into something positive by making neighborhoods even more vibrant than they were.

"It's in the best interest of our citizens to not only rebuild quickly but that we rebuild well," he said.

Minot to get canola plant

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A Canadian company said it plans to build a canola processing plant in Minot's agriculture park.

Bio-Extraction Inc., Toronto, said it will begin construction on the facility next spring with production starting the following year. The facility will be on a 10-acre lot in the Value-Added Agricultural Complex.

Jerry Chavez, president and CEO of the Minot Area Development Corp., said the company better known as BioExx fits in with the type of development officials are trying to foster in the ag park.

BioExx said its decision to build in Minot was based on several factors, including the availability of canola.

The company also is getting financial help. It said the Minot development group, with private lenders and the state-owned Bank of North Dakota, is proposing to provide about $25 million worth of assistance for the $50 million project.

Related Topics: DICKINSON
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