To the citizens of Minot:
The recent release of the 2010 Census numbers provided a fitting cap to the significant growth that we have seen in our community over the course of the past year. Minot's population as of April 1, 2010, was officially recorded at 40,888, an increase of 4,321 from the 2000 Census. The 11.8 percent rate of growth was exactly double our rate of growth in the decade between 1990 and 2000 and because of the impact of energy development, it is clear that the population today is much higher than it was on Census day last year.
The most significant change in our economy affecting the 2010 Census, as opposed to prior ones, is the energy development taking place within our region. The impact in Minot has been seen most dramatically in the last couple of years of the past decade. In fact, building permits issued in 2008, 2009, and 2010 represented the highest three-year total in the value of building permits issued in the history of the City of Minot. In the last three years, $246,233,518 or nearly one quarter of a billion dollars has been invested in building permits in Minot.
Importantly, the spike in building activity does not appear to be diminishing. Significant commercial, industrial, and residential construction is anticipated in Minot in 2011. In addition to large energy related warehouse and office projects, a large number of new hotels, restaurants and other commercial development, appear to be in the works for the coming construction season. Additionally, the recent rapid growth in apartment and other multifamily residential complexes also appears to be continuing. Numerous requests for residential zoning have recently been approved. Most recently, the City of Minot approved two multi-family developments, one consisting of 141 units and another consisting of 52 units. Additional requests are expected to exceed record levels.
As you know, the Energy Park project in Minot has also been a success in attracting companies of like interests to co-locate in an easily accessible location. That project is nearing completion and the last of the available lots will be developed this year by energy related companies. In conjunction with the Energy Park development, the city has received an EDA grant in the amount of $1,475,129 which will be used to develop water infrastructure on the east side. In addition, the Ag Park located near the Port of North Dakota, on Minot's east side, is also receiving interest with a Canadian firm indicating their hope to be able to develop a project soon and several other companies also have shown an interest in expanding into the park.
Having an operating Intermodal facility, represented by the Port of North Dakota, is an important piece necessary to help in the economical shipping of ag products, and for that matter any locally produced products, worldwide. Clearly, our Intermodal operation will have long term positive economic benefits to our community and region.
All of the various growth related activities are continuing to show up in positive statistical reports, including the fact that the 2010 sales tax totals for each penny of the local sales tax amounted to $8,600,495, or an increase of nearly 16 percent from the previous year. Sales tax receipts have achieved all time record numbers annually for the past seven years. As an example of the growth in sales in our community, the total sales tax numbers for the year 2000 amounted to $4,537,396 for each penny. In other words, receipts from 2010 were 89.5 percent higher than the receipts from one decade earlier.
Statistics from Minot International Airport also show major growth and economic activity in our region. In the spring of 2010, Minot had three flights daily to Minneapolis with one airline serving our community. By this summer we are anticipating seven flights daily to Minneapolis and two flights daily to Denver as well as two flights per week to both Las Vegas and Phoenix. And three airlines (Delta, United, and Allegiant) are now serving our community. In a recent study, conducted by the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission it was reported that the economic activity generated by the airport has created 732 local jobs with an estimated payroll of $22.8 million. When multiplier impacts were calculated in 2010, the total economic impact of the airport was $70.6 million to the local economy. While releasing the report to us, the individual who conducted the study indicated that much of the study preceded the significant increases in operations at Minot International Airport. As a result, he indicated that the economic impact was likely much higher. As noted, airline boardings last year did not change until mid year. Nevertheless, for the total year of 2010 Minot's boarding's increased by 36 percent. That increase is clearly expected to grow in 2011 as a result of having the increased numbers of flights for the entire calendar year. Just looking at the month of February, Minot's boardings increased between 2010 and 2011 by more than 85 percent.
Another critical factor in our local economy is the impact that Minot Air Force Base continues to have annually. The MAFB annual economic impact analysis recently prepared by the Budget Office of the 5th Bomb Wing Comptroller, indicated the 2010 impact at $513.7 million, an all time record. The economic impact number was 8.3 percent higher than in 2009. As you know, Minot highly values both the economic impact of the base as well as all of the personnel relationships with Minot Air Force Base service men and women, spouses and dependents who strengthen and enhance our community. As always, with the assistance of our congressional delegation, our governor, and local Task Force 21, we will do everything that we can to continue to strengthen the mission of Minot Air Force Base.
Minot has also been blessed to have the economic impact of Minot State University in our community. A study in 2008 indicated that the annual economic impact from Minot State University amounted to more than $135 million to our community. Clearly, the impact also has grown since that time. We also know the tremendous impact economically, culturally, and every other way that the facility, staff, and students of Minot State University bring to our community daily.
Construction is also anticipated to continue on the Northwest Area Water Supply project in 2011. While awaiting the completion of a new Environmental Impact Statement, progress will continue with a NAWS water treatment plant update, and construction of the NAWS line to Minot Air Force Base. Additionally, work will continue on planned segments of the regional distribution line to communities and rural water systems in our region over the course of the coming year and beyond. Once the new EIS is completed, we anticipate that a final treatment option will be selected and we will proceed to complete that work with the help of federal, state, and local funding.
Other major construction projects expected this year include preliminary work on the 55th Street Overpass and the Northeast Bypass grading work. Additionally, work on improving the 6th Street underpass and the storm sewer that supports this drainage area will also begin in 2011. Work on both projects is anticipated to run into 2012.
In addition, water and sewer projects anticipated in the next couple of years are currently estimated at more than $60 million. With the help of oil impact funds from the State of North Dakota as well as other local funding, it is hoped that we can continue to grow and still keep the financial impacts to a minimum. The sales tax issue recently brought forward by the citizens committee would go a long ways towards control of property taxes.
While we are in the midst of a major period of growth in our region, we have also recognized the need to prepare a new Comprehensive Master Plan for our community. Work on the Master Plan continues with the first phase anticipated to be completed by the end of the year. Additional work on updating our Planning Code, etc. will continue into 2012. As reported before, with the clear forecast for continuing growth in our community and region, we believe it is a prudent investment in time and resources to prepare a Comprehensive Master Plan to help guide us as a community for years to come.
I want to thank the citizens of Minot for your ongoing support of our community. Working together we can keep Minot growing while ensuring that we maintain our high quality of life.
(Curt Zimbelman is mayor of Minot)