Ron Bieri, Minot
Finally, there is some action being taken about the "zombie" homes in Minot. City staff have been out making preliminary inspections, which will hopefully end up forcing some remedies to the well documented problems with these houses. For those of us who were flooded, the action is welcome, but very little and very late.
The city's moves did not require any new ordinances, any permission from some other entity, any search for some obscure legal rationale that would finally allow this action. All of the necessary rules and regulations needed to begin this clean-up were already in place. It did require, however, a kick in the pants from a group of fed-up citizens who were not happy with the lack of action on the part of the city. There were no funds allocated to this problem, no staff time nothing but excuses from City Hall. All they wanted to talk about were the homes to be removed for the flood control project.
So, this could have happened a year ago, or even two years ago. If you live in the valley, you knew very soon which homes were being abandoned and left to rot. Anyone who cared to take the time to drive down the streets could see what was happening. These homes have had a negative affect on our safety, our health, the value of our homes and the pride we take in our neighborhoods and our city. The fact that it has taken this long and that the city was essentially forced into action is a complete failure on the part of the city administration and the city council. Keep that in mind when you go to the polls in June.