Advancing Parks, Rec merger a positive sign

Congratulations to the Minot City Council for advancing the proposed merger of the Minot Park District and Minot Recreation Commission, Monday.

The council voted the necessary agreements to spur the process along. Agreements include requisite leases of city-owned recreational facilities and a joint powers agreement. The process of fully merging the two entities could take a number of years, from the revenue flow, but the process is in place, it is in motion, and there seems to be ample support for it.

It is a long overdue effort by Minot. Few other cities have different institutions overseeing parks and recreation separately when there is a natural – and obvious – connection between the two. Advocates for this logical change have been vocal for years, have the strongest argument, and are finally seeing the need for change actualized.

Both Parks and Recreation are strong aspects of Minot’s quality of life. Together, it only makes sense that they would continue to be so, would be strenghtened, and would offer the community more options.

Initially, there was some concerns when discussions began that there were formalities and small legal aspects that would at least slow the process. However, working together, advocates have managed to overcome those with a plan to make it happen, with Legislative action still a possibility to shorten the anticipated conversion schedule.

It has been terrific work by the Parks District, the Recreation Commission and the City of Minot to move things along in an uncommonly quick and efficient way.

All of Minot will eventually benefit from the merger. It might be some time before the cost savings are readilt apparent. But moving away from duplicating services and expanding the cohesion of parks and recreation programming will be an instant boon, once the process is complete.

Already, the Parks District is examining program expansion and augmentation, to take effect as early as this year.

The City, Minot Parks District and the Minot Recreation Commission warrant a tip of the hat and a thanks for working together to ensure a smooth and beneficial change.