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Minot has changed for the worse

Don Davidson, Minot

After a sojourn of many years, my wife and I have returned to Minot where I was born and raised. To say that much has changed would be an obvious understatement. The small town feel has disappeared. Very few local restaurants remain where you can sit and quietly discuss local events and get a home-cooked meal. Now we have chain restaurant food encounters with unknown outcome. Most local businesses have been replaced with “big box” emporiums.

I’d like to address a couple of issues about what the council calls progress. Upon my arrival in our fair city I was told about plans to establish a San Francisco-style “gathering place” in downtown. I was told that 60 percent of city residents voted against the plan but that council voted to go ahead anyway. Part of that reasoning was because it was federal dollars being spent. Never mind those are citizens tax dollars being spent, federal or not. Besides, I want to see council sitting down at the “gathering place” in December or January to discuss city business. For that matter how about anytime between end of October to mid-April.

Another issue that has come to my attention is the proposed low to middle income apartments to be built where the old Pepsi plant was located on Broadway. The article in the paper made it sound very rosie. Again federal tax dollars are to be used in its construction. After inquiring about current apartment vacancies in Minot Apartment Guide, I discovered there are currently 185 available varying in cost from $315 per month to over $1,000 per month. How do the investors in those 185 units feel about the city’s plans? Have they been asked? I’m wondering if this is an out-of-town developer that is working the city as was the case in the downtown parking ramp debacle. Apparently, one selling point with the federal government on this project was the proximity to a bank and grocery store. I doubt any sane person would try to cross Broadway on foot considering the traffic it carries. I can only imagine the next step will be an overhead catwalk to accommodate foot traffic to and from the apartment. Of course it would have to be wheel chair accessible which would entail some kind of lift device.

Last council meeting, my brother address the council concerning the potential of flooding on my mother’s property due to a planned re-do of storm sewer drainage on South Hill. The response from the council was to “buy flood insurance.” That is a direct quote and it is insulting. I don’t know how many young people are concerned with politics anymore but when the citizenry are ignored by those they elected, government becomes something other than a democracy.

I’m certain some will say that if he feels this way about the city maybe he should move on. If things continue on present course maybe I will take my tax dollars and move on to a place where government is more realistic in its aspirations and better manages tax dollars.

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