Downtown Minot could be getting a major infrastructure upgrade if the city is awarded an $18 million federal grant.
If the grant is received, the city would have to provide matching funds of roughly $3.2 million, which would be done through special assessments on downtown business owners. The project includes new water and sanitary sewer systems and reconstruction of street lighting, sidewalks and streets.
City officials said most of downtown's underground infrastructure dates to the 1920s, and much of it is in serious need of replacement. Gaining access to the federal grant makes now the right time to get the project rolling.
There's little doubt downtown Minot's infrastructure needs upgrading. The timing, while favorable for acquiring federal funds, will present its share of challenges given the other major construction work already going on in the city. There would also obviously be traffic disruptions downtown should the project move forward.
It won't be easy and it won't be cheap for downtown business owners, but the project's end result will help secure the future of downtown Minot for years to come.