City Capital Improvements Plan Stretching Budgets to Their Limits|
Minot is experiencing unprecedented growth, brought on by the biggest oil boom in decades. As a result, the demand for infrastructure and services has increased so much that the City’s Capital Improvements Plan is calling for some $290 million in upgrades over the next four years. “We are working toward a very large amount of important infrastructure for water/sanitary sewer and transportation needs that will aid with the extreme growth we have seen,” said City Public Works Director Dan Jonasson.
In 2014 alone, the Capital Improvements Plan includes nearly $22 million in street and paving work, and nearly $32 million in water and sewer projects.
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More Petroleum Companies Moving to Minot
The impact of the oil industry on Minot has spurred growth, causing Minot’s city limits to grow 60 percent since 2010, to more than 27 square miles today. More than 57 oil companies operate directly out of Minot today, and the oil and gas industry employs more than six percent of Minot’s workforce. Baker Hughes, Halliburton, Weatherford, Hess and Schlumberger are just a few of the familiar names in Minot.
Due to oil industry demand, the Great Plains Energy Park 2 is underway in Minot. The 250-acre development is tailored specifically to the petroleum industry, and will be partitioned into roughly 5-acre lots. The energy park is in planning stages and construction will begin next spring.
Minot’s Growth Expected to Reach 60,000 in 3 Years
A population study conducted by The Impact Assessment Group shows the Magic City reaching 60,000 people by 2016. That is nearly a 50 percent increase from the 40,888 listed by the Census Bureau in 2010. The data takes into account permanent and temporary workers during the energy industry impact the area is experiencing.
The study, commissioned by the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce and Task Force 21, provides a housing model and employment model for the area including surrounding cities and townships. Both models suggest continued high demand for housing and substantial population increases in the future.
The entire study can be seen on the Chamber's website.
Revitalizing the Core of Minot
$140 million in public and private investments in the heart of Minot are revitalizing downtown and keeping it the core of the community. Construction began December 1 on two parking structures that will effectively double the previous public parking available at those blocks. Both sites are currently in excavation stage, with one of the sites set to move on to concrete and retaining walls by mid-January.
More mixed residential and commercial space is also part of the downtown revitalization plan and will follow the successful live-work-play model used by places such as Dallas, Portland, and more.
For more information on the private investment, go to www.imagineminot.info.
Space Challenges Remain at Minot Public Schools
After a failed bond attempt in December, the Minot Public School District will consider alternatives to address current overcrowding. Potential solutions include another bond vote in 2014, increased class sizes, redrawing attendance lines, and increased use of non-conventional spaces such as hallways and stairwells for instruction.
Voters in Minot rejected a $125 million bond issue to build new schools, renovate existing schools and provide safety and security upgrades district wide. While 50 percent voted yes, the measure required 60 percent to pass.
“The need for additional space is real and is not going away,” said Superintendent Mark Vollmer. “The District and Board of Education will meet in the next few weeks to determine upcoming steps.”
State Funds to Improve Safety at MSU
Campus security at Minot State University is set to receive a $1 million shot in the arm. The Board of University and School Lands awarded $4 million in grants to higher education institutions impacted by rapid growth in western North Dakota. MSU was one of three institutions to receive the grant money.
The $1 million grant would be used to pay for 25 blue lights to be installed throughout the campus. A telephone with a direct line to either campus security or Minot Police Central Dispatch would sit under each blue light, greatly enhancing campus security.
More Critical Care Patients Means New Care Unit at Trinity
With its critical care census on the rise, Trinity Hospital took steps in recent months to streamline its critical care services, creating a Progressive Care Unit to serve as a step-down from ICU and a step up from other units, depending on a patient’s needs. The 10-bed unit has served its purpose, according to nursing officials, freeing up ICU beds for more critical patients while providing an appropriate level of care for patients who still have complex medical needs.
Minot Parks Looking Forward to New Projects
Minot Parks officials say they are excited to see the light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to flood recovery efforts. “It has been a long road to recovery but we believe we have turned a corner and are very eager to start working on new projects that will enhance the quality of life in the Magic City,” said Randy Burckhard, flood recovery coordinator.
The Mouse River flood of 2011 caused more than $11.5 million in damage to Park District buildings, facilities and public spaces. Financial assistance to recover from the flood has come from FEMA, state disaster funds, local community facilities funding and insurance monies from nine larger buildings within the district.
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You’re Now Free to Move About the Bakken!
Unprecedented demand for airline services over the last three years is the reason a new Minot Airport terminal is currently under construction. In this video, Minot International Airport Director Andy Solsvig explains how rapid growth lead to the decision to get started in 2013 with the new 115,000 square-foot building. The state provided $18.5 million in energy impact dollars to the $40.3 million project. The city is providing $13.7 million and the Federal Aviation Administration $8.1 million.