MAGIC Fund dollars will help pay for construction of two city-owned parking ramps in downtown Minot.
The Minot City Council approved investing $3 million in ramps north of US Bank and west of Wells Fargo, which will be built as part of the "Imagine Minot" project. The Minot Area Development Corp. had requested the grant. Total project cost is $9 million.
The city also has committed $5.3 million in Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery money, and the company behind Imagine Minot, Cypress Development, will contribute $700,000. Full build-out of Imagine Minot over about five years would bring 1,200 housing units and an array of restaurants, shops and offices to the downtown.
Each parking ramp will consist of a three-level parking structure. The proposed development plan would increase parking on the two city-owned lots from about 260 spaces to 588 spaces.
The council approved the MAGIC Fund spending 13-1. Council member Scott Knudsvig has had a standing objection to using the MAGIC Fund to pay for infrastructure.
"I don't think it's a proper use of our economic development fund," he said.
The council also voted to recommend the Minot City Council approve a $10,000 matching grant to Parshall 2000 to support the opening of a telepharmacy in a former nursing home building in Parshall. The Good Samaritan Society donated the building to Parshall 2000, a community development group. The telepharmacy, affiliated with a Turtle Lake pharmacy, would be the latest business to locate in the building.
In other business, the council voted 10-4 to pay more than it thought it had agreed upon in the purchase of a house in the voluntary buyout program for flood protection. An error in the purchase agreement presented to homeowners Carl and Barbara Clemetson changed the city's offer from $112,000 to $121,545. Once the error was discovered, the Clemetsons offered to accept $117,500, and that is the amount that the council's Finance and Improvements Committee recommended the city settle for.
It remains uncertain where the $5,500 in extra payment will come from since the city's funding assistance from the state and federal government won't cover it. The city plans to ask the law firm, Swanson & Warcup, to cover the cost, for which it possibly may have errors and omissions insurance.
"I don't see how that's an expense that the city should have to pay," council member Dean Frantsvog said. "That expense should be borne by the law firm, not the City of Minot. I think it was a mistake on their part."
Council member Bob Miller said a review of the course of events showed the city had not erred but was clear in its offer throughout the process. He was joined in voting against the payment compromise by council members Dave Lehner, Jim Hatlelid and Kevin Connole. Supporting the contract were Frantsvog, Knusdvig, Mark Jantzer, Blake Krabseth, Milt Miller, Amy Moen, Lisa Olson, Tom Seymour, George Withus and Larry Frey.
The council also received a report from the Souris Valley Long Term Recovery Committee that showed its activities have generated more than $10 million to assist the community with flood recovery. Faith-based groups have contributed more than $2 million. Volunteers with Hope Village have worked on 478 homes, contributing labor worth $1.4 million.
The committee still has grant money available to aid low- to moderate-income households and continues to work with people with unmet needs, mental health concerns and home rebuilding.