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That was Mayor Shaun Sipma’s message for the 2019 State of the City.
Following a crowded open house where members of the public mingled and sought information from City of Minot department leaders, Sipma discussed a wide variety of topics that have impacted Minot in the past and will continue to impact the City moving forward.
While noting that there have been difficult decisions made in 2018, Sipma also reiterated that, as a community, Minot must focus on its future.
“There are those issues that continue to impact the future plans, but we will not let those issues define our future,” the mayor said. “On the contrary, we are making positive strides and ensuring the future of our city is one of purpose and one of prosperity.”
Sipma discussed the ongoing challenges Minot faces, including work on two of the largest infrastructure projects in the city’s history in the Northwest Area Water Supply project and the Mouse River Enhanced Flood Control project. The mayor also discussed Minot’s ongoing role as a regional leader in such things as providing essential services to neighboring cities and providing water for other communities through NAWS.
“The past leaders in the community, as a whole, have welcomed this responsibility, and we, today, have no intention of shying away from that commitment,” he said. “Rather, we will continue to shoulder the weight of leadership while building strong relationships and partnerships with our neighbors.”
Sipma also addressed recent property tax increases, noting that the majority of the 2019 increase was due to an increase in funding for restarting NAWS construction and to cover costs that have been shifted from sales tax collections back to property taxes by necessity.
“Based on our forecasting models, we will not be adjusting property taxes as our next budgeting cycle begins,” he said. “So let me make this clear. We currently see no need for any tax increase in the next budget cycle. We have ripped off the Band-Aid, and we still have some healing to do, but as we do that we continue to focus forward.”
The Western Plains Children’s Choir sang the Star Spangled Banner, with flags presented by members of the Knights of Columbus. Daniel Young provided bagpipe music for the ceremony.
As part of the event, Sipma issued a Mayor’s Youth Challenge that included three categories: Visual Arts, Language Arts, and a video contest. The winners were announced and recognized during the mayor’s speech.
Central Campus students Drew Feist and Alissa Barber won the Mayor’s Youth Challenge video contest. Their submission focused on things to do and see in Minot, including several interviews with community members.
Caroline Maytan, who attends school at Minot Air Force Base, won the Mayor’s Youth Challenge language arts contest. In her “If I was mayor…” essay, Maytan focused on creating opportunities to clean up the City, making it an even more beautiful place than it is now.
Nadeya Hall, a fourth-grader at Washington Elementary, won the Mayor’s Youth Challenge visual arts contest. Her drawing depicted the mayor’s theme of “How you feel about living in Minot.”
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