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Not perfect, but Minot still good place to live

A survey showing Minot-area residents largely feel good about their community is positive news. Sometimes the negative voices tend to be the loudest so it’s nice to know that most people don’t view the situation as all gloomy.

The survey was conducted through Odney, which has been tasked by Visit Minot, Minot Area Development Corp. and Minot Area Chamber of Commerce to develop a One Brand campaign for Minot. A $300,000 grant from the MAGIC Fund is paying for the efforts.

A key finding that might not have generated surprise is people aren’t as satisfied with their city government and city leaders as they are with Minot’s education, parks or shopping. Since the 2011 flood, city government has seen its ratings drop as the public perceives missteps with downtown parking ramps, increased property taxes and, more recently, a downtown gathering space.

Creating some positive talk is part of the goal of the One Brand campaign. People say they like the quality of life but would like even more shopping, restaurants and activities. The One Brand campaign aims to coordinate a message about Minot that helps attract more businesses. Meanwhile, Minot Park District already is working on expanding recreational opportunities, including having made property available for a children’s discovery museum planned on North Hill.

The One Brand campaign will need to show that it is making a difference, but as pointed out at a stakeholders meeting Monday, it will have a difficult time doing that if a negative undercurrent in the community undermines the message. There needs to be focus on those attributes perceived as positive, whether its the employment rate, education, parks system or quality of life.

Every community has weaknesses that need to be worked on, and Minot is no exception. But that shouldn’t become the whole picture. At least according to 86% of residents polled, Minot is still a pretty good place to live.

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