However it manifests, CTE project can’t be lost

While the City of Minot discussion about combining its new city hall project with a planned career and technical center might seem a strange one – there doesn’t seem to be any organic connection between the two – that doesn’t mean the idea should be abandoned.

Yes, other options need to be examined as well.

However, regardless of how projects are configured the CTE project warrants moving ahead.

Minot City Manager Tom Barry said this week the opportunity to bring the two National Disaster Resilience projects together could allow both to begin to make progress.

Each project, individually, has been slowed or stalled. However, the Department of Housing and Urban Development is greenlighting advancing the city hall project.

On the other hand, the CTE has inadequate funding with just $1.5 million allocated.

Barry said the city has had discussions with HUD about combining the two projects, creating a larger pool of money, and co-locating the two projects.

The NDR program provides $3.75 million for the city hall building. In co-locating the CTE and adding the $1.5 million along with another $1 million the council appropriated from sales tax, a total of $6.2 million is available for the two projects.

Besides being an odd pairing, another challenge is that Barry said that the $6.2 million combined pool would still not be enough money. The city has only until Sept. 30, 2022, to spend the money set aside for city hall and the CTE.

The CTE has the potential to have significant impact on the entire community. It’s a vital part of Minot’s NDR plan. Perhaps there is another way to reinvigorate the project. Or perhaps the city may have to scale back its plans for a new city hall to make the joint projects less costly overall.