DOWNTOWN PROJECT Downtown Minot received a huge boost last week in the ongoing process of renewing and revitalizing the area. The U.S. Economic Development Administration provided an $18 million grant to the city to help with the Imagine Downtown project. In addition to $110 million in private funds, other sources of funding include $4.5 million from Minot, $5.3 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in the form of Community Development Block Grant dollars and $3 million from the Magic Fund. It's taken enormous cooperation between a number of entities, officials and politicians to keep the project moving forward. A revitalized downtown will help the city's ongoing recovery from the 2011 Souris River flood, as well, by creating economic opportunities for business owners and individuals alike. The Imagine Minot project's goal is to build new business space, apartments and other living areas in the downtown area, attracting residents and businesses to the area. We're eager to see the project get in full swing, and we look forward to the revitalization of downtown Minot.
EXPANSION IN VELVA Verendrye Electric Cooperative last week opened the doors of its Velva headquarters addition to the public during an open house and ribbon-cutting. The 9,000 square foot addition includes 10 new offices and a dispatch center designed to help employees handle outages more efficiently and improve the company's daily workings. Verendrye employs 62 people full-time, with five part-time employees. The company serves more than 14,000 meters in the six counties surrounding Minot, a 4,000-square-mile area. The addition is a sign of a growing business, and that's a positive sign for the economy of Velva and northwest North Dakota in general.