With the city council poised to make a huge decision about the future of Minot's river valley, Jim Olson has some thoughts.
Tony Randall - the actor - summed it up. Sooner of later, we sell out for money. But the question is: can members of Minot's city council make the tough decision to avoid the sell out? I hope so. I understand the issues here - there are tens of millions of dollars being dangled in front of us like raw meat enticing a hungry dog. But I hope our leaders can resist the urge to grab the easy money. Let's say no to the government's red meat and wait it out. Sure, we're told the change in flood plain will happen within a few years anyway, but in those few years, many of the untouched, flood-ruined homes will be rebuilt. New investments will be made. Private money will be changing hands. Good ideas for development strategies will have time to develop and be nurtured. And we may just find that by the time the federal government gets around to issuing the new flood plain parameters - things like no building allowed or only homes on six-foot stilts, or whatever the bureaucrats dream up, nearly all of the property that otherwise would have fallen under those ridiculous rules will be renewed, resulting in more places for people of all means to call home.
No one knows what might happen in the next three years while we wait for the feds' flood plain rules, but let's at least give ourselves a chance to make our own decisions. Don't sell out for money. At least, not yet.
The city council's special meeting to consider the flood plain change - called the Advisory Base Flood Elevation - is Tuesday at Noon.