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A rendering of the proposed new fire station in northwest Minot.
Citing concerns over the uncertain future of the local economy, the Minot City Council delayed to major construction projects.
Council members delayed for one year the construction of a fifth fire station, which will be located in northwest Minot just off Fourth Avenue. The council also delayed until 2022 a project to replace the retaining wall around City Hall and the Minot Municipal Auditorium.
The decisions came after a lengthy discussion among council members and City staff members.
City Manager Tom Barry presented information to the council detailing the projected revenue impacts of the continuing coronavirus pandemic and sinking oil prices.
Barry said the City had anticipated receiving approximately $6.3 million in hub city funding from the state of North Dakota over the next two years. With the current uncertain economic situation, Barry said that figure could be reduced between $1.5 million and $3 million. The fire station project had anticipated using $1.35 million, with $2 million going toward the retaining wall project.
The council had earlier accepted a bid of $4.8 million from Strata Corp. to construct the new retaining wall, but the council on April 6 voted to cancel that contract and delay the project until 2022.
Bids had been received for the fire station project, but a low bid hadn’t yet been accepted. All bids will now be rejected, and a new bidding process will take place in 2021.
Other major construction projects are moving forward, including the reconstruction of 31st Avenue SE, which includes the City’s first roundabout. Work also continues on the ongoing flood control project.
Barry also told council members that other revenue streams could be affected by the ongoing pandemic and oil price collapse. Sales tax collections used for the Northwest Area Water Supply project, economic development, capital projects, infrastructure projects, and tax relief could see lower amounts.
Other ongoing City projects are also being affected by the recommendations against large gatherings of people during social distancing; the City is postponing community input gathering needed to take the next steps with curbside recycling, and will postpone any work on the downtown gathering space even though the environmental assessment on the third proposed site has been completed.