Finally, a definition is created

The creation three years ago of a city facilities fund hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing. Voters approved the usage of some sales tax money in 2011 for “community facilities,” although the definition of that phrase has loosely interpreted, to say the least.

That’s changing, after the Minot City Council’s Community Development Committee approved a definition and forwarded its recommendation to the full city council.

The committee’s approved definition says: “A community facility would fill a need by the community, and it should be owned and operated by a political subdivision. If nonprofit groups are to be eligible, they should be limited to partnership projects with political subdivisions, not stand alone non-profit projects. Local control and community benefit are required.”

The wording excludes nonprofit organizations from receiving funding unless they partner with a political subdivision on a project. Before a “community facility” was defined, funding had been awarded to nonprofits, even if they didn’t partner with a political subdivision.

The creation of a definition of what constitutes a “community facility” was long overdue. In reality, the fund should never have awarded money without having a solid definition in place. Obviously, that can’t be changed now, which makes it all the more important that the council adopts the recommended definition.