MINOT – Ward County Commissioners discussed Tuesday scheduled meetings in the administration building after certain organizations were denied the use of rooms there.
Minot Housing Authority is an organization that uses federal funds to help pay housing rent for individuals who meet a certain income bracket. People who are eligible for the program are required to attend an orientation meeting that can last up to 45 minutes.
Minot Housing Authority previously conducted its orientation meetings in two rooms at the administration building once a month, with an average of 35 people attending, but received a letter from Ward County at the end of February saying the building is too full for the entity to continue after the Ward County Commissioners’ vote two weeks ago.
County Auditor Marisa Haman said the letters were sent to Minot Housing Authority, Victim Impact Panel, Disabled Community Leaders, North Dakota Department of Trust Lands, and Rose Township’s annual meeting.
Commissioner Jason Olson voted Tuesday to reconsider the motion of discontinuing providing space for those organizations, and the commissioners voted unanimously to table the motion to allow the Ward County Building Committee to discuss the item.
“We didn’t really have a discussion on this,” said Chairman John Fjeldahl. “I know this discussion has come up in the past.”
“I understood that it came forward to us that the rooms were not available when needed because we had so many times blocked out, there were so many people that were reserving them for times,” said Commissioner Shelly Weppler. “It’s my understanding we were finding our own departments not able to utilize those rooms.”
Weppler added she thinks there should be a written contract between the county and the other entities utilizing the space in case the county needs to utilize the space.
“There are certain entities that I would give a little more weight to, such as Minot Housing Authority,” said Commissioner Jim Rostad.
“We’ve thought of a couple other places,” Mark Austin, director of occupancy for Minot Housing Authority, told The Dakotan. “We haven’t reached out to them. We’ll see where it goes.”