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Board of City Commissioners - December 17, 2018 Minutes

The Regular Meeting of the Board of City Commissioners of the City of Fargo, North Dakota, was held in the City Commission Room at City Hall at 5:00 o'clock p.m., Monday, December 17, 2018.
The Commissioners present or absent were as shown following:
Present: Gehrig, Grindberg, Piepkorn, Strand, Mahoney.
Absent: None.
Mayor Mahoney presiding.

The Mayor read a message with the following information: Rachael Johnson has been promoted to Public Health Nursing Coordinator at Fargo Cass Public Health; the Finance Department has been awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association for the 20th year; the Library has added children’s board games to its circulating collection; members of the Police Department rang Salvation Army kettle bells and officers took part in the Cops and Kids Holiday Shopping event; The Fargo Project and the City’s Public Arts Master Plan are highlighted in the December issue of the National American Planning Association Magazine; the Planning and Inspections departments are working with a consultant on a new permit management software expected to be implemented by mid-2019; and a central generation station will be built to focus on conserving power and operating costs for the Wastewater Treatment Facility.

Order of Agenda Approved:
Commissioner Grindberg moved the Order of the Agenda be approved moving Item No. “31” from the Consent Agenda to the Regular Agenda.
Second by Strand. All the Commissioners voted aye and the motion was declared carried.

Minutes Approved:
Commissioner Strand moved that the Minutes of the Regular Meeting of the Board held on December 3, 2018 be approved as read.
Second by Piepkorn. All the Commissioners voted aye and the motion was declared carried.

Consent Agenda Approved:
Commissioner Grindberg moved the Consent Agenda be approved as follows:

1. Receive and file the following Ordinances:
a. Amending Section 8-0305 and Enacting Section 8-0323 of Article 8-03 of Chapter 8 of the Fargo Municipal Code Relating to Regulations Governing Operators.
b. Amending Section 1-0305 of Article 1-03 of Chapter 1 of the Fargo Municipal Code Relating to Penalties for Non-Criminal Violations.
2. 2nd reading and final adoption of the following Ordinances; 1st reading 12/3/18:
a. Amending Section 10-0318 of Article 10-03 of Chapter 10 of the Fargo Municipal Code Relating to Public Safety, Morals and Welfare.
b. Amending Section 25-1506 of Article 25-15 of Chapter 25 of the Fargo Municipal Code Relating to Alcoholic Beverages.
c. Rezoning Certain Parcels of Land Lying in Eddy Place Addition, Eddy & Fullers Auditors Lots, Case, Peake & Hall Addition and Fullers Addition to the City of Fargo, Cass County, North Dakota.
d. Rezoning Certain Parcels of Land Lying in West Acres Fourth Addition to the City of Fargo, Cass County, North Dakota.
3. Direct the City Attorney to prepare the necessary ordinance or ordinances to implement the Approval Voting Home Rule Charter amendment.
4. Purchase Agreement with Montplaisir Ag and Rental, LLP and LaVerne A. Montplaisir Family Trust.
5. Applications for property tax exemptions for improvements made to buildings:
a. Jerry L. and Lorrie A. Thoemke, 3526 22nd Street South (3 year).
b. Joel S. and Sherri J. Thomsen, 2404 Centennial Rose Drive South
(3 year).
c. Scott T. and Lisa A. Gail, 2617 38th Avenue South (3 year).
d. David M. Jr. and Nancy J. Skjei, 1515 38th Avenue South (3 year).
e. Todd J. and Wanda Meyers, 906 19th Avenue South (5 year).
f. Chris J. and Mary E. Reynolds, 1545 4th Avenue South (5 year).
g. Charles N. and Alvina F. Lillibridge, 910 5th Avenue South (5 year).
h. Franklin D. and Ranae L. Charon, 1410 12th Avenue South (5 year).
i. Matthew R. and Crystal J. Dunham, 1111 10th Street North (5 year).
j. Kevin Sowold and Tamara Dawn Anderson, 1110 3rd Avenue North Unit 201 W (5 year).
k. Frank E. and Linnea J. Anderson, 1725 Elm Street North (5 year).
l. Kelly J. and Jill S. Erickson, 401 14th Avenue North (5 year).
m. Kelly J. and Jill S. Erickson, 401 14th Avenue North (5 year).
n. Ryan M. and Tanja R. Goellner, 3025 36th Avenue South (3 year).
o. Jared Twogood and Sara Bush, 1040 University Drive North (5 year).
p. Barret T. and Jennifer L. Wood, 2308 34 1/2 Avenue South (3 year).
6. Applications for Games of Chance:
a. North Dakota State University Saddle & Sirloin Club for a raffle on 2/9/19.
b. Amber Porter Benefit for a raffle on 2/14/19 (Public Spirited Resolution).
c. TNT Kid’s Fitness for a raffle and raffle board on 1/10/19.
7. Receive and file General Fund – Budget to Actual through November 30, 2018 (unaudited).
8. Change Order No. 1 for an increase of $22,500.00 for Project No. SR-18-A1.
9. Change Order No. 2 for an increase of $29,580.00 for Project No. SR-18-A1.
10. Change Order No. 3 for an increase of $7,106.00 for Project No. TR-17-B1.
11. Change Order No. 5 for an increase of $11,050.00 for Project No. FM-15-K1.
12. Final Balancing Change Order No. 3 for an increase of $5,342.89 for Project No. FM-14-11.
13. Negative Final Balancing Change Order No. 2 in the amount of -$24,428.30 for Project No. HD-17-A1.
14. Revision to the Over Dimensional Vehicle Policy regarding Snow Permit Time Restrictions.
15. Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program grant application for the Red River Intake Pump House at the Water Treatment Plant.
16. Right of Way Use Agreement with DFI Dillard, LLC.
17. Bid award for cooling tower repair work at the FARGODOME.
18. Revisions to the Purchasing Policy effective January 1, 2019.
19. Receive the GFOA Certificate of Achievement in Excellence in Financial Reporting Award for the year ending 12/31/17.
20. Lease with Option to Purchase Agreements with CapFirst Equipment Finance for three Bobcat skid steers.
21. Amended Contract with the ND Department of Health for the Public Health Emergency Preparedness City Readiness Initiative (CFDA #93.074)
22. Purchase of Service Agreement Amendment for HIV Counseling, Testing and Referral contract with the ND Department of Health (CFDA #93.940)
23. Contract Agreement with Media Productions for breastfeeding friendly environment support.
24. Agreement with Ed’s Towing Service, Inc. for junk vehicle removal services for 2019.
25. Grant Agreement with Humanities North Dakota for the Fargo Public Library.
26. Amended Agreement for additional engineering services for the Civic Center parking ramp restoration project.
27. 2019 City Arts Fund recommendations and Agreement with The Arts Partnership to administer the City Arts Partnership Grants for 2019 in the amount of $102,000.00.
28. Acceptance of the Walmart Community Grant Program Award in the amount of $5,000.00 for the Police Department.
29. Agreement for Services between the City of Fargo and Real Property Services Inc. for trash and recycling services in Roberts Alley.
30. Change Orders in the amount of $17,274.95 (general contract), $1,055.00 (mechanical contract) and $7,062.01 (electrical contract) for Project
No. SW 16-03 Phase II.
31. Reject Bid for Ground Transportation Center Renovation and Rebid as a Request for Proposal for Design/Bid/Build Services (moved to the Consent Agenda).
32. NDDOT grant application for the purchase of replacement vehicles for the Transit Department (CFDA #20.526).
33. Contract and bond for Project No. WW1701.
34. Bills in the amount of $10,337,667.16.

Second by Piepkorn. On call of the roll Commissioners Grindberg, Piepkorn, Gehrig, Strand and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the motion was declared carried.

Change Order No 1 for Improvement District No. BR-18-C1 Approved:
Commissioner Grindberg moved Change Order No. 1 for an increase of $111,114.40 for Improvement District No. BR-18-C1 be approved.

Second by Piepkorn. On call of the roll Commissioners Grindberg, Piepkorn, Gehrig, Strand and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the motion was declared carried.

Change Order No. 2 for Improvement District No. BN-18-K1 Approved:
Commissioner Grindberg moved Change Order No. 2 for a time extension to
1/15/19 for Improvement District No. BN-18-K1 be approved.

Second by Piepkorn. On call of the roll Commissioners Grindberg, Piepkorn, Gehrig, Strand and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the motion was declared carried.

Change Order No. 2 for Improvement District No. BN-16-H1 Approved:
Commissioner Grindberg moved Change Order No. 2 for an increase of $31,253.21 and Time Extension to 9/17/18 for Improvement District No. BN-16-H1 be approved.

Second by Piepkorn. On call of the roll Commissioners Grindberg, Piepkorn, Gehrig, Strand and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the motion was declared carried.

Change Order No. 3 for Improvement District No. UN-15-B1 Approved:
Commissioner Grindberg moved Change Order No. 3 for an increase of $22,254.11 for Improvement District No. UN-15-B1 be approved.

Second by Piepkorn. On call of the roll Commissioners Grindberg, Piepkorn, Gehrig, Strand and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the motion was declared carried.

Change Order No. 3 for Improvement District No. BR-18-E1 Approved:
Commissioner Grindberg moved Change Order No. 3 for an increase of $64,557.95 for Improvement District No. BR-18-E1 be approved.

Second by Piepkorn. On call of the roll Commissioners Grindberg, Piepkorn, Gehrig, Strand and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the motion was declared carried.

Negative Final Balancing Change Order No. 1 for Improvement District
No. BR-18-J1 Approved:

Commissioner Grindberg moved Negative Final Balancing Change Order
No. 1 in the amount of -$43,180.67 for Improvement District No. BR-18-J1 be approved.

Second by Piepkorn. On call of the roll Commissioners Grindberg, Piepkorn, Gehrig, Strand and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the motion was declared carried.

Negative Final Balancing Change Order No. 1 for Improvement District No. AN-17-F1 Approved:
Commissioner Grindberg moved Negative Final Balancing Change Order No. 1 in the amount of -$1,549.68 for Improvement District No. AN-17-F1 be approved.

Second by Piepkorn. On call of the roll Commissioners Grindberg, Piepkorn, Gehrig, Strand and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the motion was declared carried.

Negative Final Balancing Change Order No. 1 for Improvement District No. PR-18-E1 Approved:
Commissioner Grindberg moved Negative Final Balancing Change Order No. 1 in the amount of -$32,646.67 for Improvement District No. PR-18-E1 be approved.

Second by Piepkorn. On call of the roll Commissioners Grindberg, Piepkorn, Gehrig, Strand and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the motion was declared carried.

Negative Final Balancing Change Order No. 3 for Improvement District No. BN-16-H1 Approved:
Commissioner Grindberg moved Negative Final Balancing Change Order No. 3 in the amount of -$6,686.48 for Improvement District No. BN-16-H1 be approved.

Second by Piepkorn. On call of the roll Commissioners Grindberg, Piepkorn, Gehrig, Strand and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the motion was declared carried.

Negative Final Balancing Change Order No. 4 for Improvement District No. UN-15-B1 Approved:
Commissioner Grindberg moved Negative Final Balancing Change Order No. 4 in the amount of -$29,510.16 for Improvement District No. UN-15-B1 be approved.

Second by Piepkorn. On call of the roll Commissioners Grindberg, Piepkorn, Gehrig, Strand and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the motion was declared carried.

Final Balancing Change Order No. 1 for Improvement District No. BR-17-G1 Approved:
Commissioner Grindberg moved Final Balancing Change Order No. 1 for an increase of $1,036.87 for Improvement District No.BR-17-G1 be approved.

Second by Piepkorn. On call of the roll Commissioners Grindberg, Piepkorn, Gehrig, Strand and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the motion was declared carried.

Final Balancing Change Order No. 2 for Improvement District No. PN-18-A1 Approved:
Commissioner Grindberg moved Final Balancing Change Order No .2 for an increase of $41,462.13 for Improvement District No. PN-18-A1 be approved.

Second by Piepkorn. On call of the roll Commissioners Grindberg, Piepkorn, Gehrig, Strand and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the motion was declared carried.

Final Balancing Change Order No. 2 for Improvement District No. BR-17-H1 Approved:
Commissioner Grindberg moved Final Balancing Change Order No. 2 for an increase of $15,398.36 for Improvement District No. BR-17-H1 be approved.

Second by Piepkorn. On call of the roll Commissioners Grindberg, Piepkorn, Gehrig, Strand and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the motion was declared carried.

Final Balancing Change Order No.4 for Improvement District No. BR-17-J1 Approved:
Commissioner Grindberg moved Final Balancing Change Order No. 4 for an increase of $16,592.36 for Improvement District No. BR-17-J1 be approved.

Second by Piepkorn. On call of the roll Commissioners Grindberg, Piepkorn, Gehrig, Strand and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the motion was declared carried.

Final Balancing Change Order No. 4 for Improvement District No. NR-17-A1 Approved:
Commissioner Grindberg moved Final Balancing Change Order No. 4 for an increase of $18,735.26 for Improvement District No. NR-17-A1 be approved.

Second by Piepkorn. On call of the roll Commissioners Grindberg, Piepkorn, Gehrig, Strand and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the motion was declared carried.

Change Order No. 4 for Improvement District No. BN-17-A1 Approved:
Commissioner Grindberg moved Change Order No. 4 in the amount of
-$82,597.45 for Improvement District No. BN-17-A1 be approved.
Second by Piepkorn. On call of the roll Commissioners Grindberg, Piepkorn, Gehrig, Strand and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the motion was declared carried.

Utility Relocation and Additional Payment for Improvement District BN-17-A1 Approved:
Commissioner Grindberg moved the utility relocation and additional payment of $34,400.00 to Cass County Electric Cooperative for Improvement District BN-17-A1 be approved.

Second by Piepkorn. On call of the roll Commissioners Grindberg, Piepkorn, Gehrig, Strand and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the motion was declared carried.

Utility Relocation and Additional Payment for Improvement District BN-17-B1 Approved:
Commissioner Grindberg moved the utility relocation and additional payment of $35,282.00 to Cass County Electric Cooperative for Improvement District BN-17-B1 be approved.

Second by Piepkorn. On call of the roll Commissioners Grindberg, Piepkorn, Gehrig, Strand and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the motion was declared carried.

Memorandum of Offer to Landowner Temporary and Permanent Easements from B&B Holdings, LLC and B2C, LLC for Improvement District No. BN-19-A1 Approved:
The Board received a communication from Land Acquisition Specialist Shawn Bullinger requesting authorization to proceed with a Memorandum of Offer to Landowner for Temporary and Permanent Easements from B&B Holdings, LLC and B2C, LLC in association with Improvement District No. BN-19-A1 as recommended by the City Engineering office. He said a final purchase price has been reached and authorization from the Board is requested to proceed with the purchase.

Commissioner Grindberg moved the Memorandum of Offer to Landowner Temporary and Permanent Easements from B&B Holdings, LLC and B2C, LLC in association with Improvement District No. BN-19-A1 be approved.

Second by Piepkorn. On call of the roll Commissioners Grindberg, Piepkorn, Gehrig, Strand and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the motion was declared carried.

Change Order No. 1 for Improvement District No. NR-17-B2 Approved:
Commissioner Grindberg moved Change Order No. 1 for an increase of $16,147.00 for Improvement District No. NR-17-B2 be approved.

Second by Piepkorn. On call of the roll Commissioners Grindberg, Piepkorn, Gehrig, Strand and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the motion was declared carried.

Change Order No. 2 for Improvement District No. NR-17-B1 Approved:
Commissioner Grindberg moved Change Order No. 2 for an increase of $14,767.20 for Improvement District No. NR-17-B1 be approved.

Second by Piepkorn. On call of the roll Commissioners Grindberg, Piepkorn, Gehrig, Strand and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the motion was declared carried.

Appointments to the Historic Preservation Commission:
The Board received a communication from Mayor Mahoney recommending that Christine Kloubec be reappointed to the Historic Preservation Commission. He is also recommending that Jay Nelson be appointed to the Historic Preservation Commission for a three-year term to fill the vacancy created by Michael Burns, who does not wish to be reappointed.

Commissioner Strand moved the reappointment of Christine Kloubec and the appointment of Jay Nelson to the Historic Preservation Commission for three-year terms ending October 31, 2021 be approved.

Second by Gehrig. On call of the roll Commissioners Strand, Gehrig, Grindberg, Piepkorn and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the motion was declared carried.

North Dakota Department of Transportation Section 5339 Transit Grant Agreement Delayed for Two Weeks:
The Board received a communication from Transit Director Julie Bommelman stating that the State of North Dakota Department of Transportation has awarded the City of Fargo $1,591,000.00 in Capital 5339 funds to renovate the Ground Transportation Center (GTC). She said the local match for the contract award is $397,750.00 which has been included in the Transit budget. She said the GTC was built in 1984 and other than the bus deck overlays that are done every 5 to 6 years, there has been only one renovation in 2004. The Board approved the local share of the grant in October, she said, after which she submitted the application. She said there is a lengthy process of approvals before finally applying for a grant.

Commissioner Grindberg said he feels action on the GTC should be delayed to look at structural issues that need to be addressed and how spending nearly
$2 million on this facility synchronizes with the overall master plan. He said this would lock the City in from a financial commitment perspective if down the road there is a desire to relocate the GTC operation. He said he would like the Finance Committee to have more discussion on the scope of the work and more detail of the costs.

In response to a question from Commissioner Piepkorn asking whether there are time considerations for the grant money, Ms. Bommelman said this was money that was not awarded in the first cycle and would be reallocated to someone else if not accepted.

In response to a question from Commissioner Gehrig asking whether the long term goal is to fix the GTC both above and below ground or whether it is to go somewhere else and drop this rehab, Ms. Bommelman said recommendations from the facility study show the existing facility has the square footage needed. She said the study determined it is important to stay within a quarter mile of the existing facility due to the impact it would have on Moorhead bringing routes in and riders transferring. She shared a map of sites the study looked at as alternatives to Downtown. The FDA says the life of the facility is 40 years, she said, and the GTC was constructed in 1984 and rehabbed in 2004. She said the goal of this grant would be to get it functional for another 10 to 12 years.

Commissioner Grindberg said he is not against this; it is just somewhat backwards to accept the money and consider rejecting a bid. He said he sat in on a presentation for Metro Transit that showed it to be a very comprehensive project and his sense is this has not been vetted by staff or through the committees. He said he understands addressing the structural issues; however, accepting the grant creates an obligation.

Mayor Mahoney said the agenda item proposing to reject the bid is due to only having one bid and federal requirements for more than one bidder.

Assistant Transit Director Matthew Peterson said the facility study included some top level preliminary design, such as relocating pieces of the GTC and how the buses come in and out, so that design work is done. The RFP put out for the design bid/build is separate from the grant, he said. The design, bid, build was an amount of about $2.2 million, he said, and does not include the underground parking area, which is a separate $800,000.00. He said there is a $800,000.00 buy back from several years ago when Municipal Court came in which comes to an end in 2019/2020 and could be tacked onto the grant. The grant would not cover building a new facility, he said, and relocating it somewhere else would be a substantial amount. He said the grant money would help get the facility where it needs to be and remove pedestrian safety issues so longer term decisions can be made. He said the grant money would not be at risk if the Board wants to delay a decision for two weeks, it would just put reissuing the RFP and construction later.

Commissioner Grindberg said he would like a full presentation on the scope of the project, not only the grant piece. He said he would like City Administrator Bruce Grubb and Assistant City Administrator Michael Redlinger included, and to involve the Planning Department as far as how this fits in the Downtown plans.

Commissioner Piepkorn said there are legitimate public safety concerns as far as the parking underneath that need to be addressed soon.

Commissioner Grindberg moved the NDDOT Section 5339 Transit Grant Agreement be delayed for two weeks.

Second by Piepkorn. On call of the roll Commissioners Grindberg, Piepkorn, Gehrig and Mahoney voted aye.
Commissioner Strand voted nay.
The motion was declared carried.

Rejection of the Bid for the Ground Transportation Center Renovation and Rebid as a Request for Proposals for Design/Bid/Build Services Approved (Moved from the Consent Agenda):
The Board received a communication from Transit Director Julie Bommelman stating in November, the City of Fargo Transit Department advertised for Architectural and Engineering services to renovate the Ground Transportation Center (GTC). The procurement was to engage the services of a firm to design the renovation, bid the necessary pieces/services and oversee the actual construction of the renovation (Design, Bid, Build). One bid was received in response to the advertised project, she said; however, input from other potential bidders indicated further clarification for the project was needed and the timeline was too abbreviated for an adequate response. She said due to the cost of the project (approximately $3,000,000.00), federal guidelines recommend obtaining two to three bids.

Commissioner Grindberg moved the bid received for the renovation of the Ground Transportation Center be rejected and to rebid the) Renovation as a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Design/Bid/Build Services.

Second by Gehrig. On call of the roll Commissioners Grindberg, Gehrig, Piepkorn, Strand and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the motion was declared carried.

Increase in MAT Paratransit Agency Rate Effective January 1, 2019 Approved:
A Hearing had been set for this day and hour to consider the increase of the agency rate from $25.00 to $38.00 per one-way trip on MAT Paratransit.
The Board received a communication from Transit Director Julie Bommelman stating the agency rate applies only to medical trips provided to residents of skilled nursing facilities and day program trips provided to residents of Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/IID). The proposed agency rate increases from $25.00 to $38.00 per one-way trip origin to destination, she said. Skilled nursing and ICF/IID facilities are paid a designated rate by Medicaid to provide routine services, which includes transportation, she said, and it is the responsibility of the facility to provide transportation to their residents. She said in a joint Fargo-Moorhead MAT Coordinating Board meeting on October 2, 2018, the members present recommended the proposed increase.

In response to a question from Commissioner Piepkorn about the feasibility of combining and coordinating the efforts of all nonprofits in Cass and Clay counties that transport those in wheelchairs, seniors and disabled, Ms. Bommelman said that is a great idea and has worked in other areas where public transportation agencies have agreements with services such as Uber and Lyft. She said a partnership like that is being explored.

Commissioner Strand moved the proposed increase in MAT Paratransit Agency Rates be approved effective January 1, 2019.

Second by Grindberg. On call of the roll Commissioners Strand, Grindberg, Piepkorn, Gehrig and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the motion was declared carried.

Public Hearing on Amendments to Community Development Block Grant (CBDG) 5-Year Consolidated Plan and Annual Action Plans Program:
A Hearing had been set for this day and hour to consider Amendments to the Community Development Block Grant (CBDG) 5-Year Consolidated Plan and Annual Action Plans Program.

Planning Director Nicole Crutchfield said the Department of Planning and Development would like to amend the City of Fargo’s Community Block Grant (CDBG) 5-year Consolidated Plan (2015-2019) and Annual Action Plans. She said the proposed amendments include:
• Cancelling three projects that did not come to fruition.
• Adding two Public Improvement projects benefiting youth from low to moderate income households and people who are homeless.
• Increasing the budget for Slum and Blight Abatement/Hazardous Property Clearance by reallocating funds from unfulfilled or
over-budget projects and higher than expected program income.
• Expanding the project area for the Slum and Blight Abatement/Hazardous Property Clearance to city-wide on a spot basis.
Each proposed amendment was detailed in a public notice published in the November 30, 2018 Forum newspaper, she said, and presented to and approved by the Planning Commission on December 4, 2018. She said it will also be presented to the Community Development Committee on December 18, 2018, and the timeline for this amendment, including the 30-day public comment period, is outlined in the public notice. Once approved by citizens and the City, the amendment will be submitted to HUD for approval, she stated. It is part of the City's adopted citizen participation plan to present all substantial amendments to the Community Development Committee, Planning Commission and City Commission as part of the review and approval process, she said, and final consideration of the amendments are scheduled for January 2, 2019. Any comments can be directed to the Planning Department for the next 10 days, she said.

Mayor Mahoney closed the public hearing.

Presentation and Discussion Regarding the 17th Avenue South Corridor Study:
Transportation Division Engineer Jeremy Gorden said 17th Avenue South is a popular collector street and runs across town from the Red River to Sheyenne Street in West Fargo. Over the last five to ten years, he said, it has had some operational issues; therefore, the City collaborated with Metro COG to complete a Corridor Study on the Fargo section to look at its strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for improvement. Through a Request for Proposals (RFP) in 2017, he said, KLG was selected as the consulting firm. There are four main items in the study, he said, including: evaluating the existing conditions with respect to mobility and safety, particularly from 32nd to 45th Street; which is a missing link in the bicycle network and could provide a great opportunity to move people east and west to connect the river path system to the western part of the city; the pavement is in fair to poor condition; and the stretch between 42nd and 45th Street gets very busy and the City wants to see what short-term, low cost improvements could be implemented to cut down on delay while at the same time improving safety.

Mike Bittner, KLJ Project Manager, said the study limits were all of 17th Avenue through Fargo from 5th Street to 51st Street South. On the west end it feels like a commercial corridor, he said, while to the east it feels more like a neighborhood with far less traffic volume. He said this is a great opportunity for an east/west bike corridor. The study included a lot of public engagement through meetings, a bike audit, online activities, signage, ads, emails, letters, flyers, and surveys and included the neighborhood associations. He reviewed proposals for improvements that could reduce crashes, increase traffic flow and improve safety through access management. His presentation showed what the road design and bicycle lanes could look like, including buffers such as portable planters. There was support for high quality bicycle facilities, he said and a proposal of a corridor of mini roundabouts gained traction as a solution due to it being an efficient natural traffic calming tool.

In response to a question from Commissioner Strand about how bicycles are treated in the mini roundabouts, Mr. Bittner said bicycles would be treated similar to pedestrians since they are brought to the same crossing location. He said there are different rules when coming out of a roundabout versus coming into a roundabout. Some improvements can be a neutral cost if timed during road reconstruction and the other improvements could be phased, he said. Much could be done in the short term, 0-5 years, he said, and depending on traffic forecasts, the portion on the west may be widened in 15-plus years.

In response to a question from Commissioner Piepkorn about whether existing street parking would be lost, Mr. Bittner said it would. He said the Parking Study found the parking occupancy to be only one percent and in order to keep costs reasonable without widening or losing trees, it comes down to either parking or a bike facility. He said there is parking available on the side streets in nearly every area.

In response to a question from Commissioner Grindberg asking when the study was done were residents asked what they would like to have and, were they asked if they were willing to help pay for it, Mr. Bittner said that information was presented before they voted.

Mr. Gorden said he wants a project that makes sense and makes people happy. He said this has been a sensitive issue for residents in that area and he does not want to catch anyone off guard. He said this presentation is informational and is not asking for final approval right now; he will bring it back in two to four weeks.

Application for Abatement or Refund of Taxes #4477 made by Robert Hill Law, Ltd. Representing Shoppes at Osgood, LLC/SuperValu at 4151 45th Street South Denied:
The Board received a communication from City Assessor Ben Hushka recommending that the application filed by Robert Hill Law, Ltd. for abatement or refund of taxes #4477 requesting that the valuation for 2018 be reduced from $6,900,000.00 to $3,306,650.00 on property located at 4151 45th Street South be denied. He said the current valuation is a result of the original appraisal of the completed building for the 2007 tax year of $5,380,000.00 with subsequent recalculations and adjustments based on market analysis. The appraised value, he said, is for the entire parcel, including any leased spaces not occupied or used by SuperValu/Hornbacher’s. He said the current value was reached using the same valuation methodology and approaches used to arrive at the valuations of all other similar properties in the City. He said the only information included by the applicant in addition to the application are simply printouts from the Cass County Treasurer and the City of Fargo websites showing basic property information, valuations and taxes levied for the years 2010 to 2017. No appraisal or valuation analysis was provided to support the value requested by the applicant, he said.

In response to a question from Commissioner Strand about whether this property is part of the recent sale of the Hornbacher’s stores to Coborn’s, Mr. Hushka said they are leasing that site.

In response to a question from Commissioner Strand about whether the City may be undervaluing the property relative to the real market, Mr. Hushka said it is at 80% of the recent sale price. He said the bottom line for this particular appeal is that it does not warrant the reduction the applicant is requesting.

Commissioner Piepkorn moved based upon Mr. Hushka's recommendation that application #4477 filed by Robert Hill Law, Ltd. representing Shoppes at Osgood, LLC/SuperValu for abatement or refund of real estate taxes for the 2018 tax year on property located at 4151 45th Street South be denied.

Second by Gehrig. On call of the roll Commissioners Piepkorn, Gehrig, Strand, Grindberg and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the motion was declared carried.

Closure of the C-1 Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District Delayed:
Director of Strategic Planning and Research Jim Gilmour said the Finance Committee is recommending budget changes and a delay in the closeout of the C-1 TIF District until 2020 when the obligation to purchase the land is due and the restoration budgets have been increased for the Island Park Ramp and the Ground Transportation Center (GTC). The C-1 Renewal Plan and TIF District were approved in 1980 to support new development Downtown, he said, including the Dakota building and the Wells Fargo building and were amended in 1999 to build the Island Park Ramp. The City Commission amended the C-1 TIF District in 2017, he said, to add activities and use TIF money to implement four parking-related activities in the district, including repairs to the Island Park Ramp, early purchase of land under the ramp, new parking control equipment and repairs to the GTC. He said repair work on the ramp is substantially complete and in addition to the repair work, there is a need for a new security camera system, with an estimated cost of $140,245.00. The City no longer needs to purchase parking control equipment for the Island Park Ramp, he said, due to the fact that equipment formerly located at the 2nd Avenue lot can be reused in the ramp. He said repair work to the below ground portions of the GTC are substantially complete at a cost of $121,649.00; however, the City did not receive any bids for mechanical work needed in the garage. He said the plan is to bid out this work next year with an estimated cost of $83,000.00. There are high priority repairs needed to maintain the structure of the GTC, he said, which will be accomplished by additional Transit-directed improvements to the above ground space which are estimated at more than $600,000.00. He said when these activities were added to the TIF plan, the Board voted to end the District as construction bonds were paid and staff expected the debt for the land to be paid in 2017; however, due to the time of the submittal of the list to the county, another $284,000.00 of TIF income was received in the spring of 2018. He said there continued to be an outstanding obligation for the land purchase and C-1 TIF District was again included on the TIF list submitted to the County in May 2018. Another $266,000.00 is budgeted to be received in 2019, he said, and he is asking the City Commission to either amend the TIF District budget to approve the use of the 2017 and 2018 tax year funds or return the 2017 TIF revenue to the county to be distributed to the taxing jurisdictions and also return the 2018 TIF revenue when it is received next year.

Commissioner Gehrig said a year and a half ago, the Board voted to shorten the TIF and now this discussion is to extend it making it a 20-year TIF. He said that is a long time for the taxpayers to not receive t a return on their investment. He said he is concerned that if it is extended, the School District, County, Airport, Parks, etc. do not have a say and get nothing while the City puts hundreds of thousands of dollars in their coffers. He said the public should know that in a TIF, instead of paying property taxes, the funds are put in a fund for the City’s use.

Mr. Gilmour said a year and a half ago it was anticipated the land would be paid off and the TIF District would have to close early.

In response to a question from Commissioner Grindberg about whether action tonight would be for an end certain for the TIF, Mr. Gilmour said the recommendation is to leave it open; however, a decision would be needed between now and May whether there should be one more year based on what things cost or does the Board want it to end and direct the City Assessor to not include it on next year’s list. He said if it ends, there would not be enough for all the structural repairs and it is unknown what the land will cost in 2020. He said once all the activities approved in the plan are completed the TIF would end and the land purchase would be completed in 2020 so it could go two more years at the most.

Mayor Mahoney said extending the TIF does not pay all the costs and the land purchase price continues to climb. He said if some of the federal grant money that was discussed earlier could be used for the structural repair to the beam then the TIF could end sooner.

In response to a question from Commissioner Strand about the difference in the issues between this and the discussion earlier in the meeting about the GTC which was delayed, Mr. Gilmour said the Finance Department would really like a decision before the end of the year due to the money being brought in during 2018 and the decision must be made whether to keep it or send it back prior to the end of the year. He said he thinks the grant money could be used to replace the beam due to the buses driving on it and damaging it; however, Transit may disagree, as they may want to spend it on other things. If the building is to be used another 10 years, the structural repairs need to be made, he said, and there will not be enough money within the next 10 years to replace the building.

Assistant Transit Director Matthew Peterson said the grant money is specifically for above ground at the GTC; however, there is an upcoming conference call with the NDDOT to see if any part of that money can be used to repair that beam.

Commissioner Grindberg said he prefers a firm decision on the TIF, and he feels the decision tonight should be to close it. He said the Board should make a decision and move on.

Mr. Gilmour said if the recommended motion is approved, the City Assessor would include the TIF District on next year’s list; however, if the preference is to end it next year, a different motion could direct that.

In response to a question from Mayor Mahoney on the yearly worth of the TIF, Mr. Gilmour said $266,000.00 is budgeted and if it runs two more years there would be approximately another $500,000.00.

City Attorney Erik Johnson said this is a relatively minor revision and has the same objectives as the July 2017 decision. He said the TIF could continue until the projects are completed and the debt paid.

Commissioner Grindberg said this is a fuzzy area and he does not feel a policy decision on TIF ending should drive the ultimate negotiation in buying a piece of property. If the fund ends up at $600,000.00 and the purchase costs $900,000.00, likely $300,000.00 can be found if needed, he said. He said he is more likely to set a date and be done with it and then deal with the purchase price and market conditions as a separate matter.

Mayor Mahoney said it is a matter of intent to use TIF money to pay off all the expenses considered with the project and he does not feel the $266,000.00 a year will generate enough to pay off all the concerns.

In response to a question from Mayor Mahoney asking for an estimate of the hard costs from now until done, Mr. Gilmour said it depends how much is put into the GTC.

In response to a question from Commissioner Grindberg asking who would buy the property if the City did not, Mr. Gilmour said the agreement is ironclad in that the bank has to sell it to the City. He said the City has a parking ramp on it and when the lease is up the City wants the land.

Commissioner Piepkorn said it is disappointing that this happened in 2017, there would still be a bill that must be paid somehow whether out of the TIF or not. Negotiations for the land purchase will be a challenge, he said, due to the amount being so far apart from the banks. Leaving the TIF intact there is money for the buyout, he said; however, if the TIF ends the money will have to be found elsewhere.

Commissioner Gehrig said his concern is that if the TIF can be extended after already being shortened, it could be an indefinite TIF. He said why ever get rid of a revenue stream? It is not grant funds the City is taking, it is actual property tax dollars, he said, that are not going to the schools, parks, vector control or the airport. He said where the money comes from matters, the amount matters and how the TIFs are handled matters.

Commissioner Strand said he is not opposed; however, he has concerns about the implications of a July deadline when the Board has already voted to end the TIF and now the deadline is up in the air and changing. He asked how firm a new deadline would be versus the one a year and a half ago.

Mayor Mahoney said deadlines would be firm since they must be included in the budget. He said in the future it would be important that the Board is informed of changes and if there are not enough funds, such as for the purchase of the land the City would have to look at other sources.

Mr. Gilmour said there have been three phases of this TIF. The first was an urban renewal project between 1980-1999, then the Island Park Ramp was added in 1999, then a year and a half ago, things related to parking/Island Park Ramp were added, the land purchase and the GTC happened to be in the TIF District so that was an added activity.

Commissioner Grindberg moved the closeout of the C-1 TIF District be delayed until the obligation to purchase the land is complete the budget for restoration costs for the Island Park Ramp and the GTC parking garage be increased as presented, and to add a time certain closeout date of 2020.

Second by Piepkorn. On call of the roll, Commissioners Grindberg and Piepkorn voted aye.
Commissioners Strand, Gehrig and Mahoney voted nay.
The motion was declared lost for lack of a majority.

Commissioner Strand moved the closeout of the C-1 TIF District be delayed until the obligation to purchase the land is complete, and the budget for restoration costs for the Island Park Ramp and the GTC parking garage be increased as presented.

Second by Piepkorn. On call of the roll Commissioners Strand, Piepkorn, Grindberg and Mahoney voted aye.
Commissioner Gehrig voted nay.
The motion was declared carried.

Commissioner Grindberg requested that Mr. Gilmour return in February or March with a report on the status of existing TIF Districts and a list of closed out TIF Districts. He said the report on current TIF Districts should include the following:
• Beginning year of the TIF District
• Base year property value and current property value
• Fund balances
• Outstanding obligations
• Anticipated 2019 revenue
• List of activities to be implement in the future and the cost
• The expected year that the TIF District can be closed

Closure of Some City Departments at Noon on Christmas Eve Approved:
Mayor Mahoney said since the December 3rd City Commission meeting, options about potential closure of some departments on Christmas Eve has been discussed. The Human Resources Department was directed to conduct a survey to determine employee preferences relating to Christmas Eve, he said, and 529 responses to the survey were received, representing about 53 percent of regular employees. Based on employee preference, he said, he is recommending that City offices close at noon on Christmas Eve and allow employees the option to use vacation, make up the time within the work week in coordination with supervisors or take the day as unpaid. He said the survey data will be further utilized to review the Holiday Policy and whether the Board wants to consider changes in 2019 to paid holidays.

Commissioner Gehrig moved to close City departments, typically subject to a closure on holidays, at noon on December 24, 2018 and to allow City employees the option to use vacation, make up the time within the workweek or to take the day as unpaid.

Second by Grindberg. On call of the roll Commissioners Gehrig, Grindberg, Strand, Piepkorn and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the motion was declared carried.

Commissioner Piepkorn moved that the Board adjourn to 5:00 o’clock p.m., Wednesday, January 2, 2019.

Second by Gehrig. All the Commissioners voted aye and the motion was declared carried.
The time at adjournment was 6:31 o’clock p.m.