Residents of Minot's flooded areas will have a chance over the next year to help plan the revitalization of their neighborhoods.
The City of Minot is looking for neighborhood leaders as it embarks on a series of planning sessions that will focus on the downtown and six mostly residential areas in the core of the city.
The mayor will appoint six to eight volunteers from each area to represent their neighborhoods in discussions that will occur over the next year. In addition to attending five meetings, neighborhood leaders will stay in touch through Facebook and a website.
A basketball hoop on the former Erik Ramstad school grounds stands idle Wednesday with houses and FEMA units behind it. Revitalizing post-flood neighborhoods is the goal of a city riverfront project.
A map shows the seven districts that are part of the River Front and Center project. Neighborhood volunteers will be assisting the city in drafting redevelopment plans for each district.
Residents interested in representing their neighborhoods can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with their contact information. For those who want to first learn more, public meetings will be held:
- April 22 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Roosevelt Park Zoo for Zones 4, 5 and 6, mostly east of Broadway.
- April 23 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in St. Mark's Lutheran Church at 2209-4th Ave. NW for Zones 1, 2 and 3, west of Broadway.
A downtown meeting already has been held.
Residents do not need to be volunteers active in the decision-making to attend any meetings. Residents who are unable to participate in the meetings but want to provide input should watch for information about a public forum to be held at a later date.
Donna Bye, Minot city planner, said the goal is to involve both neighborhood newcomers and people with long ties to their areas. The project aims to connect neighbors and get them thinking about ways to improve their communities, she said.
They might want to see a small dog park, a gazebo, a barbecue station, tree plantings, benches or signage identifying the neighborhood, she said. The city is looking at buying some abandoned properties so will be open to ideas for using that space. Until the flood protection project is built, there might be vacant areas near the river that can be developed as public space, she said.
The plan also is expected to focus on greenway connections, compact development, housing opportunities and transportation.
"Once we have some buy-ins and some input, then we will take the next step to try to go out and find the money to implement some of those project ideas," Bye said.
The city received a $387,500 planning grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration to conduct the planning. The city contracted with Stantec Consulting to seek ideas from the community and make recommendations for design and implementation of a redevelopment strategy.