A city committee tasked with reviewing funding requests for community facilities is looking at a Nov. 1 deadline for its first round of applications.
The Community Development Committee met Tuesday to review its funding guidelines and send minor changes to the Minot City Council for approval. It also is recommending a Nov. 1 deadline for applications this year and Sept. 30 in future years.
The park district plans to apply for flood recovery projects. The city and Minot State University are considering possible applications.
In June 2011, voters agreed to shift a 1 percent sales tax for the Northwest Area Water Supply tax to infrastructure, property tax relief and communities facilities once the NAWS fund had enough money to pay for the local share of the project. That shift came last October. The city finance office reports the fund has collected $3.3 million so far.
The Minot Park District, which received $250,000 to repair flood-damaged baseball fields, has been the only recipient of funding so far. That request went straight to the city council. The council is requiring future requests go through the Community Development Committee for recommendation first.
The park district plans to present the committee with a $3.2 million list of repairs needed to bring the park system back to pre-flood condition.
The list includes debris and silt removal, $1.2 million; Corbett Field grandstand, warming and concessions, $441,818; Roosevelt Zoo pens, barns, clinic, children's zoo, $386,242; Roosevelt Park irrigation, $300,000; bridges, excluding Roosevelt Park, $292,000; maintenance shops, warehouse and miscellaneous, $170,000; Souris Valley Golf Course irrigation, $117,200; greenhouse complex, $99,272; Roosevelt Park grounds, $89,000; Wee Links irrigation, $44,500; Hoeven Baseball Complex irrigation, $39,977; and fitness trails, $30,195.
The park's repair costs don't include engineering, architectural and professional fees associated with reconstruction, which total more than $1.4 million.
Park officials say that regardless of sales-tax funding, the park system is on track to be largely up and running again next summer. At the zoo, the only structural projects expected to be remaining will be the penguin and otter buildings.
The park district is budgeting for a $3.5 million bond to finish the flood repairs. The bond will mean about 2 mills annually for 15 years on the property tax bill.
About half of the $600,000 property tax increase in the 2013 proposed budget is due to the bond. Eliminating any part of the bond through a sales-tax grant would help reduce the tax, parks officials have said.
Connie Feist, a park board member who spoke at Tuesday's meeting, has argued that the sales tax makes more sense for flood recovery than property taxes. People of all demographic groups, including tourists, use the park system, she said.
The City of Minot has about $1 million in projects that have been identified as possible projects to submit to committee review. They include North Hill Complex parking reconstruction, $500,000; Municipal Auditorium seating, $275,000; auditorium lighting, $136,840, and armory roof, $100,000.
As for MSU, the university will consider whether to apply and which projects to submit once it learns more about the application requirements, said Rick Hedberg, athletic director. MSU previously requested $6 million over five years to support improvements at Herb Parker Stadium. The university later withdrew the request.
Members of the Community Development Committee indicated that allocating money not on hand but based on future collections is not likely to happen. The measure approved by voters requires that sales tax revert back to NAWS if the project should need additional funding in the future.
Also, any assistance to a private, nonprofit group must come through an enterprise established by the city, and the city would have to monitor use of the money. The city can grant money to other political subdivisions through a more simple process of a joint powers agreement.