City Council Tonight — Here’s the Rundown

Last week was committee week for the City of Minot, and there were more than a few notable items on tonight’s City Council agenda. Here’s the quick rundown of last week’s committee recommendations of note.

Planning Commission

We are a little more than a month removed from the troubling allegations of dysfunction and favoritism within the City’s planning department. Those allegations led to cautious steps last month by the Planning Commission. And in one case, it seems the Commission was overly cautious.

After being denied a variance to last month, JaCraig Partners was advised by Mayor Barney to appeal that decision back to the Planning Commission. This time around, the Planning Commission reversed its previous decision and recommended City Council approve the variance.

JaCraig partners is seeking a variance that would allow them to construct a building that matches existing buildings on their property in an industrial section of Southeast Minot.

The other issue before the Planning Commission that generated discussion and testimony was a request by applicant Jay Lundeen to divide a lot in North Minot for use in parking cars awaiting repair at Jerome’s Collision Center. Approval was granted for a buffering variance that will allow subdivision of a lot North of the collision center and a land swap that will remove shop traffic from the Highway 83 frontage to an alley on the vacated West end of the properties.

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee is recommending a couple things of note:

  • An update to the City’s ethics policy is on agenda tonight. The Minot Daily News has a strong opinion about the significance of that act.
  • Eminent Domain proceedings are getting started for several families and properties in the path of Minot’s flood protection plan.
  • The Committee is recommending the City of Minot renew its contract with Shane Goettle to serve as a lobbyist for the City of Minot.
  • The paving project at the Sertoma softball complex (North Hill). The $1.5 million project will be paid with $1 million in Community Facilities sales tax dollars and $500k from the recreation department maintenance funds.

Airport Committee

It was a light agenda for the Airport Committee this month. Final interviews the open Airport Director position are taking place; the hope is to have the position filled by July 1st.

Public Works

It was mostly business as usual for the Public Works Committee. Randy McDonald of the Souris Valley Animal Shelter spoke about a program to trap, neuter/spay, and release feral cats. The hope is to control the population of cats in town, but to make it happen, we’ll have to change our laws so it’s legal for the shelter to release the cats after they are spayed/neutered. That act is currently illegal.

The Committee also took action on Minot’s System Wide Improvement Framework (SWIF) recommending the City hire Houston Engineering to complete design and engineering work. The SWIF is the plan that will put our existing flood protection system and levees back in compliance with Corps of Engineers requirements. We’ll be paying $352,000 for the work, and I have a strong opinion on the manner in which it is being awarded.

Josh Wolsky

Editor and Publisher of TheMinotVoice, Developer of the #ForMinot Network,  Co-Host of #GoodTalk Minot, Advocate and Friend of the Souris River, Former City Alderman, and clearly -- all things #MakeMinot. Go ahead, don't wait for permission!

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