The week that was

REC CENTER? We realize it’s preliminary talk at this point, but we have serious questions surrounding the idea of building an indoor recreation, wellness and fitness center in Minot. The Minot Park District and the Minot Area Community Foundation are funding a feasibility study by IBIS?Enterprises to discuss the potential for such a facility in Minot. We’re not necessarily arguing that Minot doesn’t need an indoor rec center. Ron Merritt, executive director of the Minot Park District, said there has been a “lot of support for more indoor recreation amenities due to our North Dakota winters.” We don’t doubt that one bit, but we’re just not sure the time is right for such a project. The questions are endless: Where would it be built? When would it be built? What amenities would the facility include? And most importantly, how would the structure be paid for, and who would pay for it? Minot simply cannot add another sales tax like Williston did to pay for that city’s massive $125 million community recreation center. We hope any discussion of constructing a new indoor recreation facility in Minot is of the fact-finding nature because we believe the public support would be difficult to obtain at this point.

GAS PLANT COMING This past week’s announcement that a new liquefied natural gas processing plant will be built near Tioga is good news indeed for the state. Officials with North Dakota LNG said the plant will convert natural gas into value-added liquid fuels. When fully operations, the plant, the first of its kind in the state, will be capable of processing 76,000 gallons of LNG per day. The first phase, expected to be finished this summer, will allow the plant to produce 10,000 gallons of LNG per day, with the second phase scheduled to start in early 2015. The plant will allow customers to have easy access to liquid fuels, which would naturally help cut costs and be more cost-effective than bringing more fuel to the state from other locations.