City and County Discuss Harmful Properties | News, Sports, Jobs

Jill Schramm/DND Weeds were mowed on this northwest Minot property, shown Wednesday, exposing debris that had accumulated. The property, located within the city limits of Minot but not annexed, had remained neglected until recently due to jurisdictional issues.

A nuisance property in Northwest Minot has become less of a nuisance, but City of Minot and Ward County officials want to work together to determine how to prevent similar issues in the future.

Harmful properties were on the agenda of a liaison committee made up of city, county, park and school officials that met on Wednesday.

Out-of-state owners of a property south of Northwest 32nd Avenue, which sits south of the school grounds that include Erik Ramstad Middle School, quickly mowed the grounds after being told the widespread problem of invasive weeds. The land is within the city limits of Minot but has not been annexed to the city. The neighbors had been seeking to have the property settled for some time, but were blocked by jurisdictional and legal issues.

Ward County Auditor Marisa Haman said the county doesn’t have regulations like the city’s that could force the cleanup. Any regulations drafted should apply to all properties under county jurisdiction, whether or not they abut residential areas.

Brian Billingsley, director of the city’s community and economic development department, said the city and county have reached an intergovernmental agreement regarding the city’s two-mile offshore zone. The agreement gives the city the ability to enforce zoning in this area. Weeds and trash on the property aren’t covered by zoning, but it could eventually be added, he said.

“Perhaps an amendment to this agreement might be all you need,” he said.

Howard County Commissioner “Bucky” Anderson suggested researching how many properties with similar jurisdictional issues exist within the city limits or in the offshore area and potential solutions to address them.

“In some cases, it’s all our responsibility. In some cases, maybe a bit of both.” he said. “Maybe we work together.”

Billingsley said city staff can prepare a map of unannexed properties within city limits to present to the liaison committee at an upcoming meeting. Annexation is a decision of the owner and cannot be imposed by the city.

In other business, park board member Perry Olson briefed the committee on potential upgrades to the Minot Municipal Auditorium and Maysa Arena.

“The price tags were quite significant – more than expected – so we’ve kind of put the brakes on that at the moment. But I think in the coming months we’ll start to look at that a bit more and see what what is doable and what can be done,” he said.

City council member Lisa Olson reported that Dakota College in Bottineau plans to offer a dental assistant program starting in August 2023 at the proposed vocational and technical training center in downtown Minot. The Minot Planning Commission will consider a conditional use permit for the CTE center in October and, if approved, renovations to the old Trinity Health building can begin, Billingsley said.

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