Good news from Park Board

The news that property owners shouldn’t see a tax increase with next year’s proposed $11.16 million budget for the Minot Park District comes as good news and relief for local taxpayers who, by now, are getting used to some pretty grim news on the tax front.

The county has already announced it will need more money to staff new positions. The school district just underwent harsh negotiations with teachers because of a budget deficit. The City of Minot is set to roll its budget proposal out next week.

The Park District, arguably the most popular manifestation of government in town, helped take a little of the sting out of a rough budget season with its announcement.

The preliminary budget seeks a tax of $7.29 million, the same as the amount levied for 2018. Parks Director Ron Merritt said the budget includes nearly $1.25 million in capital projects and 3 percent salary increases, but the overall tax levy should not change. The $7.29 million levy would include $5.24 million for the general fund and $458,766 for a building fund that can be drawn on for future projects. It includes $1.3 million in special assessments for paving districts and other specially assessed projects of the city or park district. Taxes also would cover the $275,100 annual payment on a 15-year flood recovery bond that runs through 2027.

Mr. Merritt and colleagues have done an excellent job preparing the Minot Park District for the budget season and for its fiscal responsibilities in the years ahead. While this should be no surprise to people who recognize just how well Minot Parks operates overall, it is never-the-less important to point out – and to thank Parks for bringing some good news to local taxpayers and Parks boosters.

A hearty thank-you to the Minot Park District for all of its many efforts.