Council approves flood control

The Minot City Council voted unanimously Thursday to approve a sub-agreement with the Souris River Joint Water Resource Board related to enhanced flood control, contingent upon Minot being given representation on the board.

City Manager David Waind said following a special meeting that the sub-agreement is similar to one that was set up in the 1960s and 1970s, during the last such flood control project. Under the agreement, Minot would contribute the proceeds of a half-cent sales tax to pay for its share of the enhanced flood control project for the Souris River Basin. It will also be a pay as you go process, with contributions only from those funds that can be raised from the half-cent city sales tax.

The city council voted last summer to change how the already existing half-cent sales tax is used. Funds will begin being directed toward the flood control project beginning July 1, 2014.

“I think it’s very important that we have representation on the board,” said Minot Mayor Curt Zimbelman, during the city council meeting Thursday.

Waind said members of the Souris River Joint Water Resource Board will likely agree to that, but the joint board will have to change its bylaws for Minot to have a voting member on the Joint Water Resource Board. In the meanwhile, Waind said, it is likely that the board would permit Minot to have an ex-officio representative on the Joint Water Resource Board.

The enhanced flood control project itself will likely take many years to complete said Waind, and will take place in stages. It will also be expensive to build. However, he said he thinks the project is on the right track. Engineering for one portion of the project will be worked on during the coming year.