Champions are needed in Minot

Spring is never a good time to judge a city by its looks. That is especially true for a city like Minot, which is still recovering from a horrific flood but also experiencing some serious growing pains. Minot isn’t very pretty right now.

It is easy to drive through downtown Minot and be critical of the construction mess, specifically the huge, half-block holes surrounded by construction barriers.

And one need drive down but one street of the many that were flooded in 2011 to find so-called “zombie homes,” houses yet to be touched post-flood.

The former is clearly the ugliness of progress in the works and will resolve itself. Soon enough Minot will have two fine, badly needed parking structures in its resurging downtown, and those structures are sure to trigger even more improvements.

The latter? First off, neighbors of the zombie homes are right to be frustrated. They’ve worked hard at great expense to restore their properties while absent owners – and worse yet, city government – seemingly have done little to nothing to remove the blight.

No, this eyesore won’t heal itself. It will take action on the part of city government and a lot more compassion. The city needs to get tough and then get tougher on the owners of unsecured, neglected dwellings.

The residents of the flooded valley who chose to gut it out and come back could use some champions right about now because the heat of summer is coming back and so is the stench.