Tuesday night's meeting of the Minot Park Board included a discussion of a proposed expansion of Maysa Arena. But through no fault of their own, supporters of the project are finding themselves hampered by the Souris River flood of 2011 and the ongoing recovery efforts. It's certainly an unfortunate side-effect of the flood.
Park board members have generally been supportive of the idea of adding a third sheet of ice at Maysa Arena. Representatives from the Maysa group asked for the board's commitment of $1.5 million toward the project, a request that likely would have passed had the flood not happened. But commissioners rightfully questioned Tuesday night if it was wise to commit that much money to a building project when the future of the Minot Park District is uncertain, to say the least.
It's almost impossible to make a $1.5 million commitment to a project not related to flood damage or flood recovery at this time. The district has so many locations that suffered damage, from the Souris Valley Golf Course to the Roosevelt Park Zoo to Corbett Field to the Jack Hoeven Wee Links. All need repair, and that takes money and time.
It's not the fault of Maysa supporters, but the flood has certainly created an issue of bad timing. And there will likely be similar discussions in the near future, where funding for good projects will have to be delayed until the district sorts through its priorities.
Commissioners Connie Feist and Cliff Hovda both sympathized with Maysa supporters. "I support it, but I'm not ready to commit to it tonight," Feist said. Hovda said he'd be more in favor of the project in two years, giving the district time to make flood-related decisions first.
The Maysa project puts the commissioners in a unfortunate spot. The project is a good idea, and should be done. But the park district simply cannot commit money to the project right now.