Spruced up neighborhoods with good lighting and attractive parks would be a good start in revitalizing the valley, residents suggested at a brainstorming meeting Monday.
The City of Minot, working with its consultants, held the first of a series of Riverfront and Center project meetings at Roosevelt Park Zoo for residents living east of Eighth Street Northwest. A similar meeting will be held for the western portion of the valley tonight at 6:30 p.m. in St. Mark's Lutheran Church.
Monday's meeting provided a chance for residents to gather with neighbors to discuss the future of their areas. One of the key issues to come to the forefront was reviving once flooded parks, including Roosevelt Park, and developing new parks, trails and recreational green spaces.
The Erik Ramstad neighborhood came out strongly for turning the former site of a middle school into a park.
"A good landscape artist could make that a jewel of Minot. This could emerge as a major park," said Bob Miller, resident and city council member. "This is a park waiting to happen. It would be an asset to the entire community."
Another major concern is the number of flooded homes and vehicles that remain abandoned and sidewalks that are in disrepair.
John Slack, a landscape designer with Stantec, the city's consultant, reported after meeting with residents of the Perkett School area that aesthetics are important.
"Just general cleanup," he said of the goal of the neighborhood. "It's been described as a ghetto."
Monday's meeting was held for residents in the eastern portion of the valley, but residents in the western portion also were welcome if they were unable to attend tonight.
Other concerns included drainage around the fairgrounds and Holiday Inn, traffic on 16h Street and Fourth Avenue Northwest and the need for better neighborhood lighting in some areas.
The City of Minot is looking for neighborhood volunteers to take the lead as the city continues a series of planning sessions focusing on the downtown and six mostly residential areas in the core of the city. Five meetings are scheduled during the course of this year.
Residents interested in representing their neighborhoods can send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with their contact information.
The city received a $387,500 planning grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration to conduct the planning. Updates on the Riverfront and Center project will be available on the website at (www.minotnd.org).