Minot leaders continue to push to keep 'hub city' funding

MINOT, N.D. - State lawmakers continued their meetings with Minot leaders Thursday morning, listening to reasons they should continue funding hub cities.

Minot City manager Tom Barry laid out a number of reasons for funding Minot and other hub cities, including land annexation, standing debt, and improving quality of life.

Minot has seen hub city funding go down in recent years, but it is unclear if that is connected to the slowdown in the oil industry.

“The tinkering with the hub city formula this last legislative session caused a reduction by 30 percent in the city of Minot's hub city allocation, 30 percent. That means we lost almost $2 million a year for this upcoming next two years,” said Barry.

Lawmakers say it is not necessarily that the state is giving out less money, but rather there is not enough money to go around.

The two-day hub city meeting wrapped as Minot officials made their final arguments for the continuation of hub city funding and recognition of Minot as a hub city.

Before the meeting adjourned, Barry made clear that the infrastructure, housing, and zoning improvements during the 2011 flood do not correlate with the flood event, but with a response to population increases for job seeking newcomers.

“That essentially means that we added 1,559 new homes. Which means the flood had an impact on our housing stock of less than 10 percent if you look at building permits, and so on and so forth,” said Barry.

The Energy Development and Transmission Committee next meets on Jan. 24 to discuss taxing issues related to wind farming.