Minot's trade associations and labor unions are giving back to the community, one weekend project at a time. From removing debris to home demolition, Concerned Labor Citizens is one of the many groups helping Minot back onto its feet following the 2011 flood.
"We want to help our fellow citizens in any way we can," said Bob Wolf, membership development coordinator for the Local 714 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. "We put a group of people together," largely drawn from members of the local teachers, peace officers, firefighters, plumbers and pipe-layers, public employees, and electricians unions.
Among its projects, CLC repainted and refurbished 28 benches for Roosevelt Park Zoo, which had been ruined by floodwaters. "We will try to keep our relationship with the zoo going," said Wolf, doing odd work on its grounds and facilities throughout the summer.
The zoo's director, Dave Merritt, is glad to have the extra help as it continues with flood recovery work. "We have plenty to do," he said. After nearly two years of closure, Roosevelt Park Zoo will finally reopen to the public this Saturday. However, there is still much work to be done yet, and Merritt expects different exhibits and facilities will return afterward over the course of the summer.
"On Saturday we're going to get 10 or 15 people and help out with the Grand Reopening," says Wolf, to serve food and help zoo staff with its various activities planned for the day.
The previous Saturday, CLC had also helped Christ Lutheran Church with its demolition work. "We're putting an addition on the church," said Mike Monson, on the church's property board. "We want to get out of the basement," he added, explaining that the fellowship area had been down in the basement before, a gloomy place to gather unpopular with parishioners.
They will also be expanding their offices on the ground floor, which the CLC volunteers were assisting with. Four firemen and four apprentice electricians showed up, demolishing the entire interior, block walls and all. "That saves us a lot of money," Monson noted, adding "they really did a nice job."
"We had a 'smashing' good time," said Wolf, jocularly.
"It takes many hands to make light work," said Monson. "It's just nice to have people willing to help out."
"We're always looking for other projects," Wolf says. Minoters interested in project assistance by the CLC are invited to call, at 852-3025.