The Minot Park Board had their monthly meeting Tuesday night. The item drawing the most discussion was brought up by Ron Merritt, Minot's director of parks. He reported that the developer working on Bolton Heights, a new, 114 acre residential district on the west side of the Highway 83 Bypass at 21st St. NW, has offered a donation of $1000 per acre to Minot parks for recreation.
Some developers prefer to donate parcels of land, Merritt said, but it might be advantageous to accept the monetary offer instead to finance future park endeavors.
Connie Feist, one of the park board commissioners, mentioned that the master plan map for new walking trails in Minot, currently in the planning stages, would probably be ready for next month's meeting. It could then be hashed over in relation to growth and to see where new trails would be most useful. This is also important for developers, such as the one planning Bolton Heights, who would need to plan around Minot's trail system. In fact, after discussion of whether to accept the donation of $1000 per acre, wondering if it was too much or too little and considering its fairness to all parties, a motion was passed to accept the offer, $114,000 in total, with the provision that easement to the trails and completion of the trails be added.
Feist commented that, "It would be best to approach this as a partnership with developers, not a heavy-handed ordinance."
Richard Sabol, also a commissioner, agreed that, "You don't want to get into a bidding war."
Connie finished the discussion, saying, "Developers have helped build (Minot). They want to help."
With that, the motion was passed unanimously, with the thought that if the developer wasn't happy with the arrangement, a counter-offer could be made.
Merritt also said that, with a suggested donation rather than an official ordinance, all parties could benefit.
In other business, Minot's tennis courts were mentioned by Feist. She said the question is whether having courts in various locations within Minot will see more use or whether spending park resources rebuilding Hammond Park, perhaps with as many as ten separate tennis courts, would better serve the area. The plan is to study the situation and decide.
Finally, Feist also proposed that parks employees be given Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve as paid vacation days in recognition of "another stellar year in our parks." Since both Christmas Day and New Year's Day fall on Tuesdays, it was felt that there wouldn't be a lot for employees to do on Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve. The motion to make them both paid vacation days passed unanimously.