Since the 2011 flood, protection over the City of Minot has been a priority.
The city has bought out almost 400 additional lots as the project has progressed and now that it owns them, it’s the city’s responsibility to keep them up.
But as Alexus Arthur reports with limited staff and all the extra work it becomes a challenge.
“We usually get the mowers ready by 7:30am,” said Cody Reynolds, River Crew.
“It’s a lot of work,” said Derek Hackett, City of Minot Public Information Officer.
Before the flood the City had six seasonal employees that mowed the grass. After the flood they hired one more person to help mow the lots – but now they are mowing hundreds more.
“We’re doing more with significantly less,” said Hackett.
Cody Reynolds is one of the mowers and he’s done it for awhile. Last year he said the job was slow moving because we were in a drought. This year he says the job is never ending.
“We’re just spinning in circles trying to keep up with everything,” said Reynolds.
Once they’re done mowing one lot they move right on to the next and they have approximately 200 acres of land to cover.
“They just mowed this lot a week ago and it’s already 6-8 inches tall,” said Hackett.
Hackett says that the budget for this was slashed about 100,000 dollars last year even though they were adding properties.
“Are you trying to hire more people for this? That’s the 140 million dollar question. We need to balance community expectations with available resources,” said Hackett.
If no one else gets hired employees like Reynolds will continue to work 10 hour shifts, 4 days a week.
“I like being outside. It’s enjoyable and I don’t mind doing it,” said Reynolds.
The area that was being mowed today was on 6th Street and Central Ave West.
It will be become the Maple Diversion which will move flood water faster through the city.