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New fire station likely a project public will support

Public sector development can draw a lot of fire in the Minot community these days. From the completion of two under-utilized parking ramps to a palpable resistance to the idea of a downtown public gathering space (at least in its current configuration), there is skepticism and plenty of cynicism to go along with that.

Not that taxpayers dubious of public projects don’t have good reason to question expenditures of public dollars. They do. Many of those most dubious about public sector developments or investments can cite examples going back decades of missteps on the part of the City of Minot.

However, the recent announcement that the city council and administration were moving ahead with a fifth fire station, situated in northwest Minot, is likely to receive more public support than other efforts on the part of the City.

The first responsibility of a municipal government should be financial responsibility to its taxpayers. When it comes to allocating resources, it is a challenge to argue that the safety of the community shouldn’t be the priority. Police and firefighters are our first responders here and the fire department obviously believes a fifth fire station is necessary.

Secondly, the cost of developing and equipping the station are within the city’s grasp. Reserve funds readily available could fund the project.

Additionally, the fire department has crafted a new manning program that could enable the fifth station to come online with only three additional hires.

The Minot City Council proposal still has a distance to go with decisions to be made in the coming months, including a timeline for breaking ground and for completion of the project.

However, at this juncture, public safety need intersects with a fiscally responsible plan. Hopefully the plan remains responsible and the cost doesn’t end up exceeding expectation.

Minot Daily News believes this endeavor should see more public support than others in the past.

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