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Minot leaders approve downtown façade fix-up program

Published: Jul. 7, 2021 at 5:17 PM CDT
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MINOT, N.D. – A vibrant downtown can be a major draw for a city.

Minot leadership gave the green light Tuesday to a program aimed at beautifying downtown storefronts.

The program would encourage downtown owners to fix up their building façades and make the area more attractive for customers and tourists.

“Many of us have a real passion for these historic downtown buildings. I know not everybody does, but it’s a part of Minot’s history and we just need to bring them up into the 21st century so that our community can appreciate them again,” said Margie Bolton, a downtown business owner.

It offers a forgivable loan as a grant from the city to share the cost of the work. It requires a “true-to-period design” for the buildings and isn’t meant for regular maintenance.

”I’ve talked with members of the council on some big plans, and some grandiose ideas that I have for downtown, but there are still other segments of the community that asks questions,” said Minot Alderman Tom Ross.

Some council members shared concerns over being fair to businesses outside of the downtown area.

”This is the first step in a 100-mile journey that we’re about to take because these programs are going to evolve, there’ll be more tools that we’ll be able to develop to help business owners not only downtown but community-wide,” said Paul Pitner, Minot Alderman.

They are planning to cover 75% of project cost or $100,000, whichever is lower.

Staff say in a memo that they will try to make the Façade Improvement Program available for the 2021 building season.

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