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Medora library a bad investment

Wayne Rowe

Minot

I did a search on Governor Burgum (and) through that search I found a couple of items defining what our state congress decided just recently. I hope a high number of people see how ridiculous our state government really is.

The first Bill that I will mention is a promise to provide a $35 million loan to build a library in Medora. They will be provided the $35 million once they are able to achieve donations of $100 million.

Go ahead readers, Google the population of Medora and you will see a tiny number of 132 in 2017. Yes, Medora is the tourist trap of North Dakota but I am pretty sure that the top ten reasons to go to Medora for any “tourist” will not be let’s go to the library.

Our state government obviously took some time to debate this issue but decided in the tiny town of Medora that a $135 million (loan) is okay.

The next Bill I found was a little more interesting. I don’t mind any tribe in any state doing what they need to and maybe I am wrong here. But, just a few years ago we had stand-off because of a pipeline and the disaster that could happen. Roads were closed, demonstrations were taken to (at) least Bismarck and people were arrested. Guess what folks, it all paid off. Once again our state government decided that it would give a higher percentage of oil taxes to the tribes.

We really should take note of these two decisions. I was told by the Governor’s office maybe while Governor Hoeven was still in office. That the Governor can’t help small groups because it would be against the Constitution. I was pressing our government to act on issues that would help the very stagnant economy in North Dakota grow.

However, I completely believe that any politician feels that the oil is the key. Well, guess what folks – we had the boom and it went bust. Oh yes “they” say it is coming back. I can pretty much tell you we will not ever see the oil like it was prior to 2017.

What that boom did in Minot was create a high number of hotels and warehouse style buildings. There are a number of hotels now for sale, The Vegas on North Hill has been closed for a year. Warehouse buildings sitting empty and for sale at asking prices that reflect the cost when they were built. No one is buying.

The City of Minot has the desire to create an industrial park. The thought of that happening is so far in the realm of Fantasy Land it is sad. Come on people, no large company from outside North Dakota is going to move staff to Minot or pretty much any other city in the state. Why? Except for a place called Thunder Alley in Fargo – there is nothing to do in this state.

Companies like Amazon don’t choose a city because of the number of restaurants and bars it has. They want any family they move to a city to be able to enjoy themselves.

Oh yes, I am trying to fund a business. Almost everyone I talk to says “Great idea” it is needed. But the entire twist on it – I need a guarantee on the loan. This is where I take you back to the beginning of this letter. The State Bank of North Dakota and the USDA have loan guarantee programs. Incredible right, someone should be able to open a business and get a loan guarantee from the USDA or State Bank. HA.. NO. Both of those programs require the prospective business owner to have a guarantee already in place.

Government at work ladies and gentlemen… A promise to provide a loan of $35 million for a library in a town with a population of 132. But this guy has found no real program available to him to get funding and open a business. I was able to show a number of banks that I had lined up $900,000 but that wasn’t good enough. The system told me that one of my investors would have to provide a guarantee – those funds were quickly withdrawn.

You wonder why Minot, Bismarck, etc… don’t have new businesses because the system that is currently in place isn’t worried about making the state better. It is not about considering what could happen if someone developed another tourist attraction in this state. Our government is happier providing a promise to loan $35 million after donations of $100 million than developing a solid program to help people open business.

Hold on citizens of North Dakota. The retail paradigm has closed stores in this state already. I guarantee you more will close. That is another letter.

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