During the oil boom Main Street in Belfield, North Dakota was the place to be, but since then the Downtown area has fallen on tough times.
However, over the last two years the community has been working together to bring it back, and they are starting to be recognized for it.
As part of Governor Burgum’s Main Street Initiative, Belfield city auditor, Natalie Muruato, and other community members decided to relocate the police department from the basement of Memorial Hall into a newly renovated historic building.
They also reopened their historic movie theater that had been closed for two years, and they created a park in the Downtown area, called the Pocket Park, for children to play in or to hold civic events.
Improvements were also done on other structures, as well as, beautification work along the city streets in the Downtown area.
“I applied for every grant I could possibly find. . . we held fundraisers . . . held diners to raise money,” said Muruato.
Hugh Hlebechuk has lived and worked in Belfield for 60 years, and he donated sand and gravel from his construction company to help the city out.
With the closing of Odyssey movie theater in Dickinson and site construction being done on the Davis Refinery, the City of Belfield hopes more opportunity will be heading their way even on a rainy day.
“We want to be a place that people want to live, work, and play,” said Muruato.
The community’s imagination and hard work was rewarded when they were awarded the 2018 Downtown Revitalizer Award from the governor.
“I think it is great. It is a reflection on the people that live in our community, work for our community, ” said Hlebechuk.
Muruato said the city spent about $500,00 renovating the downtown area, and none of it was tax payer dollars.