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The City of Minot’s first Town Hall meeting of 2019 was a success.
The event, held May 8 at Perkett Elementary School, drew a good-sized crowd of interested and engaged residents.
They heard three presentations, including one from City Manager Tom Barry, who recapped some of the results of the 2019 North Dakota Legislature that will impact Minot moving forward. Barry listed what the City would consider successes and failures during the Legislature, including a failed bill that would have enabled cities in the state to access low-interest loans for infrastructure projects. Senate Bill 2275, which passed the Senate but failed in the House, could have saved Minot more than $100 million in interest payments for future infrastructure projects. Barry and Mayor Shaun Sipma both said they will continue to support the low-interest loan idea at the next legislative session in 2021.
Public Works Director Dan Jonasson provided an update on the progress of construction on the flood control project, including information about how construction will impact traffic this summer. City Engineer Lance Meyer led a discussion of the future of flood insurance and the timeline of implementation of new flood risk maps by the Federal Emergency Management Administration.
Members of the City Council also addressed the crowd, and encouraged residents to be active in City issues, and to contact members of the council, or members of City staff if they have questions or need more information about city operations.
The final segment of the Town Hall meeting was left for an open discussion of not only the three scheduled topics for the event, but for any questions residents had about city issues. In addition to flood control, flood maps and the Legislature, members of the crowd also asked questions about recycling, the future of buildings downtown that belong to Trinity Hospital, and the possibility of relocating City Hall to a downtown site.
A second Town Hall meeting will be held in the fall of 2019. A date has not been selected.