A Minot contractor will be donating services to the Minot YWCA to get a homeless shelter back into operation.
The YWCA withdrew its request for help from the city at a special meeting of the Minot City Council Wednesday. George Kemper of Kemper Construction offered to donate services to replace a water pipe required for a fire suppression system. The shelter, which is undergoing renovation, cannot re-open without the fire protection.
The YWCA initially had asked for the city's help because contractors have been too busy to take on the project. The only bid came from an out-of-state firm willing to do the work next year for $20,000. The city's Public Works Department indicated the job could be done with city labor at an estimated in-kind cost of $400.
City Attorney John Van Grinven researched the legality of the city donating the labor and reported to the council that the city has the discretion, based on state laws and the language of its home-rule charter that permit the advancement of public welfare and aid to the poor.
The YWCA received a federal Housing and Urban Development grant to renovate its shelter to provide seven apartments for permanent housing for women. In addition, the renovation will continue to provide space for emergency housing, creating dormitory living for 17 women and children.
Deb Kunkel, YWCA executive director, said Kemper has offered to install the pipe by the end of the month. The YWCA expects the apartments, which already are spoken for, to be available for rent at that time.
The council also accepted canvassing results of the Nov. 2 election and seated new Ward 5 alderman Tom Seymour. The official tally showed Seymour with 961 votes and Richard Allende with 369.
Seymour is a technology professor at Minot State University and a state senator from District 5. He did not seek re-election to the senate and will give up his seat in December.