MINOT – Daycare and other issues were among the members’ top concerns during Monday’s city council meeting, where a discussion on the upcoming legislative session was held.
“This is so important to every community in North Dakota, but in Minot in particular is figuring out not just affordable daycare, but how we increase the number of providers and flexibility,” said Alderwoman Carrie Evans. “I’m hoping the governor and his task force will put forward some really good recommendations for solutions for that. We will wholeheartedly support that.”
Evans emphasized that daycare is a 24-hour service and will be continually needed with the new Trinity Hospital campus opening.
Council members Stephan Podrygula, Scott Burlingame, and Mark Janzter echoed the issue of daycare, with Podrygula also hoping the state would acquire better resources for processing evidence in the state laboratory.
“I found out recently our detectives are limited to three or four items they can send down to Bismarck to the state lab,” said Podrygula. “If you’re trying to process a complex crime scene, which we have more and more of, and you’re limited to three or four items that they’ll research for you, that really crimps your investigation.”
Special City Attorney Shane Goettle said he helped put together a plan for flood control that local funding could keep up with, which would allow the funding to be in place within 10 years, and the project complete by 2035.
“What we’re seeking is to increase the average funding that this project has been getting,” said Goettle. “The plan that we’ve been saying is if we can get $76.1 million, per biennium over the next 5 biennium, we can complete the project in 2035.”
Goettle believes some of the $600 million within the governor’s water infrastructure budget could be used for Minot.
In other business at the meeting, the building formerly known as Home Sweet Home, located at 106 Fourth Avenue Northwest, was sold to Jacob and Amy Jenkins for $500.
“The house has been some cost for the city for a long time,” said Burlingame. “It’s just sitting there, it’s not helping anybody, and just a cost to the taxpayers’ money. I think it’s a good opportunity to get it back on the tax rolls. It’s going to be a passion project for the people doing it. A tour of it once it’s done would be greatly appreciated.”
The council also tabled the vote to change the Magic Fund Guidelines until after the completion of legal review and the Magic Fund Steering Committee’s review. The changes to the guidelines so far include allowing members of committees related to the Magic Fund to have financial conflicts of interest as long as those interests are disclosed.