Minot's inaugural 'State of the City' addresses past, vision for future

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MINOT, N.D. - For the first time ever, Mayor Chuck Barney and city staff spoke on the 'State of the City.'

The Mayor reflected on the past, spoke on the present and laid out a vision for the future in front of a crowd of hundreds.

It was an idea that came from City Manager Tom Barry.

“Good idea for you to meet the city staff that serve you so well. Get an idea of what the city is doing, where we've been, where we are, and where we're going,” said Barney.

Barney discussed issues that span the entire city, from flood protection, to the military, to civic engagement.

He emphasized how the impact of the 2011 flood continues to linger today.

“We're still recovering from that. We're recovering both physically and spiritually. Physically we're making great end roads into rebuilding. And we're recovering spiritually and by spiritually I mean every spring, we get phone calls at the city and at my home. Is the river going to flood?” said Barney.

To go along with the theme of 'firsts,' Minot City Council President Mark Jantzer joined the other alderman and the mayor in unveiling the city's first flag, which will be displayed at all municipal buildings around the city.

“This flag symbolizes the strength, unity, and resilience of our city and is meant to inspire service dedication and citizenship,” said Jantzer.

Barney, who is in his last term as mayor, envisioned a bright future for the city. He said he would put Minot's interests first and foremost in addressing the ongoing dispute over the downtown parking structures.

"We are committed to moving our community forward. We are committed to completing the downtown parking structures, working with the developers to find a resolution that is mutually beneficial. I want to stress that for a minute. We are going to find a solution that is in the best interest of Minot,” Barney said.

Barney also said that city leaders will hold a special groundbreaking for the multi-million-dollar flood protection project in late March.