City next needs to make formal request of FEMA.

Although no one has said it will not be a slow, tedious process that requires a great deal of patience, baby steps continue to be taken as the City of Crookston seeks a revised 100-year flood plain map that officially removes impacted properties in Sampson's and Jerome's additions from the flood plain.

Retiring Community Development Director Mike MacDonald told members of the Crookston City Council this week that he's been in contact with Short Elliot Hendrickson (SEH), the state contractor that has taken the design lead on Crookston's flood control projects, and that the City of Crookston must next draft a letter formally requesting a Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It's expected that the council at its first August meeting will approve the formal request.

Although the LOMR doesn't amount to an officially modified flood plain map, it's critical because it's enough to allow property owners who have been removed from the 100-year flood plain to also be removed from the constraints of the National Flood Insurance Program, which limits the amount of money they are allowed to invest in their homes and properties. With a LOMR in place, local officials are hoping, potentially with the help of a grant or two, for sort of a rebirth of vitality in Sampson's and Jerome's additions.

"This has been a long time coming," Mayor Dave Genereux said.

It's still a long process, however. MacDonald has said previously it could be 2015 before the LOMR is in place.

• Kim Durbin from Drees Riskey Vallager, LTD detailed the annual audit conducted by her firm of the City of Crookston. Generally, the city is in good financial shape, with assets far outpacing debts. "Fiscally, you're doing everything you can that you can control, I believe," Durbin said.

With Angel Hoeffner being hired as the city's first-ever "finance director," Durbin noted the significant transition in the city's finance department that has led to a bump in the road now and then. "There's been a lot of transition, but all in all, thinks look pretty good," Durbin said. "All in all, things are not in bad shape."

• Ward 6 Council Member Tom Vedbraaten, a long-time critic of the Downtown Square pavilion being constructed on property the city leases but does not own, said he's been asked by Crookston residents why he supposedly changed his mind by voting yes recently on a resolution relating to the pavilion. Vedbraaten stressed that he hasn't changed his mind and that he still thinks the location for the pavilion is a poor one since the city doesn't own the land. But, he said, he only voted in favor of a construction-related change order regarding the pavilion itself. "The location was already set previously," Vedbraaten said. "I voted yes on the change order."