James Ballard, Minot
I just read your article, "Senators offer to seek more money for Flood Recovery," in the July 4 edition of The Minot Daily News. My first thought is why are they going to Washington, D.C., requesting federal funds?
With the millions of dollars the state of North Dakota is receiving in oil activity, shouldn't the state of North Dakota be doing more? Politicians can't claim we need smaller government, and then keep running to the federal government every chance they get.
It's very hypocritical to request assistance, saying we need money when North Dakota is experiencing such an incredible windfall. Shouldn't we do more to take care of our own?
If the Minot flood doesn't warrant the criteria for state assistance, what does? Minot is one of North Dakota's biggest cities, isn't it worth investing state funds? Individual recovery is tough due to super growing pains in Minot.
While there is never a good time for a flood, Minot's timing could not have been worse. The housing situation went from critical to out of control. The lack of any rent control laws or other protective measures is mind boggling. This will eventually cause a large portion of the Minot population to relocate for cheaper housing. That same population was responsible for keeping Minot a viable community before the oil boom.
As grocery prices rise, and every property owner joins in the rent gouging game, a minimum wage or middle wage earner cannot compete. Everything is being priced in direct proportion to oil wages. After boasting nationally about how well our state is doing, it sounds a bit ambiguous trying to convince Washington, D.C., we need the federal government's help.
When the oil boom goes away, the state will try court and woo back the same population it couldn't see fit to provide assistance. FEMA has done quite a bit, but has a wider responsibility of assisting the whole country. It's time for state leaders to do their part. Instead of funding bigger corporate projects, or building future libraries to preserve political legacies, invest in the recovery of Minot.
Let's not keep "KICKING" the can down the road for the next guy. I challenge the state to "PICK UP" that can and recycle it now. You don't have to be a flood victim or a have a housing crisis to be affected. If anyone in the community is suffering, we are all suffering. Victims of the flood still need our help and support.