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Park board considers sales tax for new facilities projects

Jill Schramm/MDN Attorney Pete Hankla, right, speaks to the Minot Park Board Tuesday. Shown, from left, are board members Mike Schmitt and Perry Olson and Parks Director Elly DesLauriers.

Minot voters could decide on another sales tax next spring if the Minot Park Board ultimately pushes a proposal forward.

The board met with its attorney, Pete Hankla, on Tuesday to learn more about the steps required in pursuing a sales tax that could help with facilities projects.

Hankla explained the park board will need to work in cooperation with the City of Minot, which is the public entity with authority to levy sales tax.

“If we get the city’s cooperation, they would be putting this matter out for a special election to implement such a tax,” he said. “We just need to put together research and the drafting of a proposed ordinance for presentation to the city council for their review. We would also need to prepare and propose a joint powers agreement that would outline exactly how the sales tax will be implemented and how we would receive the money.”

Park board members Justin Hammer and Mike Schmitt are to serve on a committee to work on a sales tax proposal.

In the meantime, the park district will continue researching construction of indoor turf space at Maysa Arena. It received a preliminary cost estimate of $16 million for a 29,000-square-foot building.

Calyn Beckman, the park district’s finance director, had reported at a previous park board meeting that a half percent sales tax would cover a revenue bond for a $16 million facility as well as its operations and provide a general fund property tax reduction of 14 or more mills.

The park district levied 48.3 mills for 2024 operations, according to Ward County data. A 14-mill reduction would be a savings of $63 per $100,000 of residential value.

A half percent sales tax potentially could generate roughly $6 million a year, based on each of the City of Minot’s 1% sales taxes producing $13.2 million in 2023.

Following conversations with Maysa user groups, architects with JLG are expected to attend the board’s Aug. 20 meeting to present a concept and estimates for an indoor turf facility. More definite operating costs for a facility also are being investigated.

The park district has been in discussion with Minot Hockey Boosters regarding a fourth ice rink at Maysa and also has other facilities projects in its long-term planning.

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