If the City doesn’t, who will? And if nobody does, then what?

The question of a City Hall relocation is on tonight’s City Council agenda. Item 7.5 asks the Council to act on the staff recommendation to drop the Big M building and chase the former Wells Fargo building for the City’s future home.

I have a lot of questions I’d like answered before I act on this issue, but there’s a line of thought that keeps rising when I consider the Big M building. I’m sharing now because I’d like your perspective. Catch me in the comments of this post, send me an email, wuphf me — whatever’s easiest — if you have a comment after reading below, please share.

My questions are these:

  • If we the City — with our $3.75 million federal NDR grant head start — can’t get the Big M building to pencil out as a doable project, who can?
  • And what happens if nobody can turn the building around?

On a side note, I’ve been publishing local commentary, thoughts on Minot, and news stories that seem relevant to current Minot questions for several years now here on TheMinotVoice.com. I’m regularly and often delightfully surprised by the news stories — sometimes from the far reaches of the country or world — that hit my radar at an opportune moment. Both Google and Facebook algorithms have an impressive ability to surface my subconscious.

I ask my questions above because a recent story out of Pasadena, Texas may very well paint the picture of Minot’s future regarding the Big M building. Follow this link to learn more about the final years of the First Pasadena State Bank Building; it was a structure eerily similar to the Big M building.

Here’s the gist:

In Pasadena, the City got the building back through tax delinquincy because the owner walked away.

In Pasadena, the building had degraded so far that the only option was demolition.

In Pasadena, demolition didn’t excuse the responsibility to take care of the asbestos.

In Pasadena, it was the taxpayers on the hook for all of it.

And in Minot, I wonder if there’s a lesson we can learn from Pasadena’s experience?

Josh Wolsky

Editor and Publisher of TheMinotVoice, Developer of the #ForMinot Network,  Co-Host of #GoodTalk Minot, Advocate and Friend of the Souris River, and clearly -- all things #MakeMinot.

3 comments on “If the City doesn’t, who will? And if nobody does, then what?

Phil Lowe

I would love to see the big M building saved but if it’s truly an 18 million dollar project it’s too many resources for a cash strapped city that needs flood protection before a new city hall. I also question the asbestos removal issue. The city has been purchasing and tearing down warehouses in my neighborhood for flood protection. I have seen no asbestos abatement work and those old building have to be loaded with asbestos

Nancy Langseth

I think the city should look at the Big M building. More space and asbestos has been removed from some of it. It is well built and has a drive through that might be handy to have.

Brenda Demke

I agree with Nancy although I am unsure of cost involved to reconfigure it to the city needs, it is centrally located and has always been an easy building to access in past years plus provides plenty of room for future expansion.

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