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Posted on: October 9, 2019

Gathering space focus turns to new site

The Minot City Council is moving forward with the proposed gathering space project, but voted at its Oct. 7 meeting to begin discussion of purchasing property along Broadway that belongs to Trinity Health.

The City had been working with landowners to purchase property at a different site in downtown Minot. After a Sept. 30 deadline passed, Council members voted 5-2 to move the project to the new potential location.

The properties considered necessary for the gathering space at the site in downtown had a total assessed value of $890,000. In total, the property owners were asking for $1.7 million.

With a deadline of Sept. 30, 2022, to utilize the NDR funds, alderman Paul Pitner said the clock is ticking.

“I don’t want our backs to be up against the wall. I don’t think this Council wants our backs to be up against the wall,” said Alderman Paul Pitner. “I think it’s time to accept that we weren’t able to come to an agreement on this site, and it’s time to move forward.”

Alderman Josh Wolsky said consideration should be given to the potential value of the Trinity site, calling it one of the most desirable commercial locations along Broadway.

“I’m not supportive of this motion tonight,” Wolsky said. “I think in terms of tying that particular parcel of land into a non-revenue generating parcel is a mistake.”

Alderman Lisa Olson supported the motion to move to the second site.

“I think we’re overthinking this. It seems like we’ve put a good faith effort into site 2. It didn’t work,” she said. “We have a timeline. We need to see if Site 1 is going to work; it may or may not. I can empathize with the people who have made investments. We’ve put in the time and effort that we’ve needed to, and we need to move on.”

Alderman Shannon Straight did not support moving to a new site, and expressed concern that federal rules may force the City to move to the third site, even if Trinity is interested in selling the property that is necessary for site 1.

“I really just don’t want any more egg on the city’s face because we don’t have all these answers fleshed out,” he said. “I don’t necessarily feel we are learning anything from the process. We are just quickly moving on.”

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