Downtown Improvement Grant | VideoAmy Fox | 10/9/2012
"Many people they come looking for something different in town, so it`s been really positive where we`ve had a lot of influx of new people downtown," said Margie’s Art and Glass Studio owner Margie Bolton.
All those extra footsteps are taking a toll on the infrastructure.
"Minot downtown has really never had substantially improvements,” said Bob White, Minot City Council. “It`s had improvements through the years, but for all practical purposes this is the original water sewer, streets, what have you.”
"I think there`s always a need for improvements and our infrastructure, I`m guessing, is probably 100 years old,” said Bolton. “Now, I look at my own building, so yeah, there`s a need for improvement."
In order to meet the growing demand, Minot city officials are applying for grant money that would give downtown Minot a whole new look.
"It`s an attempt to part of the flood recovery to do two things,” said White. “It is to provide for affordable housing for people and also to bring back the vibrancy to downtown Minot."
If approved, the grant money would be used to upgrade the existing sewers, lights and provide more affordable housing for the city. But Minot is up against some pretty tough competition.
"You know there`s no guarantee that we will get these funds. These are a disaster supplemental funds that we are one of many cities that are competing for it. The other major city is Joplin, Missouri,” said Minot City Finance Director Cindy Hemphill.
In addition to city officials, local businesses, like Margie’s Art and Glass Studio, are excited about the possible facelift downtown.
"I think it will just be that extra draw that will bring even more people downtown," said Bolton.
White said, "This should help us a great deal in providing affordable housing for those who have that need and the need is very desperate at this point."
An announcement about the award will be made by the end of the year.
The total cost of the infrastructure project will be about $22 million.