It’s another great day in Fargo and I’m excited to visit with you again in my latest Mayor’s Message.
I was recently invited to take part in celebrating 100 years of the Fargo Rotary Club. The Fargo chapter was established by 24 business leaders in 1917 with some notable names included in that group, such as S.F. Knight, Norman Black and W.B. Shotwell. Representatives from Knight Printing, Forum Communications and Shotwell Floral all remain active in the group, which is a testament to our city’s commitment to community service. Currently, the Fargo Rotary Club has more than 70 active members with over 300 hours of community service donated each year. It’s a fantastic organization giving back to Fargo each year and I encourage you to learn more about this group at their website, www.FMRotaryClubs.org.
Police Chief Dave Todd and I would like to give a special thank you to all the people who helped set up and participate in the Police Picnic held a few weeks ago. The weather was perfect and there was a huge turnout from the community. He said it was nice to see many on- and off-duty officers interacting with citizens and their children. The department receives many compliments about how friendly and outreaching the officers are. Fargo PD really has something special going on in its relationship with the community.
As part of the work of the F-M Mayors’ Blue Ribbon Commission on Addiction, we held the first of four “Take Back Tuesday” events at Fargo Cass Public Health at the end of June. We held a press conference to kick off these take back efforts and I was surprised to see the amount of unwanted medications being turned in by residents. We collected 210 pounds of unwanted medications from more than 130 individuals during the event. As I mentioned, we’ll be hosting three more of these events over the next few months, but you can always turn in your unwanted drugs at our metro police stations.
I’m pleased to report that the single-sort recycling program is off and running with 93 percent of all single-family residences in Fargo participating. Please remember that we pick up residential recycling on the curb every other week, with the City sectioned into “Week A” and “Week B” pickups. I encourage you to check out www.FargoRecycles.com to learn more.
Another great service also recently started with hourly parking beginning on July 5th at the downtown Roberts Commons Parking Garage. There are about 50 parking spaces available during peak hours. Parking is free for the first two hours, $3 for two to four hours, $5 for four to six hours and $8 for six or more hours. Parking will be free on weekdays after 5 p.m. and all day on the weekends. Contract and reserved parking are also available. The downtown also celebrated the opening of Prairie Roots Food Cooperative last week, which will serve an important need in the core of our city. The member-owned store is nearly 9,000 square feet and offers a full range of meat, produce and groceries.
More good news as new and improved fixed route MATBUS services started on July 1st. Several of the route changes are cost-neutral while some are cost-shared with Moorhead, NDSU and West Fargo, such as Route 24, which serves the new Sanford Medical Center in southwest Fargo and other areas such as Costco, several hotels and West Acres.
As you probably know, this week brings with it the annual Downtown Fargo Street Fair, beginning on Thursday, July 13th and continuing through Saturday, July 15th. This is a fantastic signature event organized by the Downtown Community Partnership and brings tens of thousands of people each day to the downtown area. We’ve produced a great map which is available on the front page of our website, www.FargoND.gov, to illustrate the various parking lots to utilize. I’d encourage you to give our downtown bus route, LinkFM, a try during the street fair. It’s free. There will be extended hours and more buses added on that route for this event and it’s easy to use. Thanks again for your interest in the City of Fargo and your community. Have a great week and make sure to enjoy the weather!