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The Minot City Council approved the creation of a new street lighting district to replace an unusable system in a southwest Minot neighborhood.
Street lights in the Dakota Homes Addition area, which is located south of Central Avenue, north of Second Avenue Southwest, and between 24th Street SW and the U.S. Highway 83 bypass, were turned off late this summer after an inspection found the system had the potential to cause electric shock due to old metal poles not being grounded. The system dates back to the 1960s.
A group of residents from the neighborhood gathered signatures to protest the project, which originally would have been funded 30 percent by the City and 70 percent by the residents through special assessments. Several residents spoke against the project at the Oct. 16 City council meeting, noting that they agreed the project was necessary, but disagreed with having to pay for 70 percent of the cost. They believe the cost should be a citywide expense.
The group collected protest letters from 112 of 217 properties (51.6 percent); to stop a project, state law requires protests to reflect the majority of the property area. Opponents gathered only 38.88 percent of the property area, allowing the Council to proceed with the project.
After discussion, the Council amended the original pay structure, increasing the City’s portion to 35 percent, leaving 65 percent to be special assessed to the district’s residents.
The Council also accepted a bid from Main Electric to complete the project at a cost of $716,805. The City’s 35 percent would amount to roughly $256,000, which would be paid for from sales tax reserves allocated to infrastructure.
This is the 65th street lighting district created by the City. The last one was created as part of a three-year downtown renovation project. The City covered 50 percent of the cost of that project by using a federal grant; downtown businesses paid the remaining 50 percent through a special assessment.