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Fargo City Commission - August 10, 2020 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, August 10, 2020.
The Commissioners present or absent were as shown following:
Present: Gehrig (via conference call), Piepkorn, Preston, Strand, Mahoney.
Absent: None.
Mayor Mahoney presiding.

The Mayor read a message with the following information: CodeRED will be replaced with Cass Clay Alerts beginning September 1st; Fargo Cass Public Health reminds the community of the importance of routine immunizations as students return to school; Library activities include the Summer Reading Program, a virtual snack-making class for kids and the Library’s Book Bike was featured as part of Book Bike Week, an event sponsored by the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services; and tonight’s agenda features clarifications as to which items are available for public comment, allowing each person two and a half minutes for comments, the comment period is intended for listening and learning purposes and there will be no Commission comment or action.

Order of Agenda Approved:
Commissioner Piepkorn moved the Order of the Agenda be approved withdrawing Item Nos. “3” and “19” from the Consent Agenda.
Second by Preston. 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 July 27, 2020 be approved as read.
Second by Preston. All the Commissioners voted aye and the motion was declared carried.

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

1. 2nd reading and final adoption of the following Ordinances; 1st reading 7/27/20:
a. Rezoning Certain Parcels of Land Lying in the Proposed Edition Third Addition to the City of Fargo, Cass County, North Dakota
b. Rezoning Certain Parcels of Land Lying in Boulger First Addition to the City of Fargo, Cass County, North Dakota

2. Applications for Games of Chance:
a. Legacy Children’s Foundation for a raffle on 8/17/20.
b. Sts. Anne & Joachim Catholic Church for a raffle on 11/8/20.

3. Granting of the Downtown Community Partnership with sole authority to place and manage pedestrian benches in Downtown Fargo (withdrawn).

4. Amended Engineer’s Report for Project No. FM-16-A.

5. Cost Sharing for Underground Building Encroachment Removal Policy 2020.

6. Amended Easement (Amends Document #320762) with Fargo Public Schools.

7. Memorandum of Offer to Landowner for Permanent and Temporary Easements with the Municipal Airport Authority of the City of Fargo (Project
No. FM-16-A).

8. Purchase Agreement with Beverly Pearson in the amount of $270,000.00 for property located at 12 North Terrace North.

9. Right of Way and Land Use Agreement with Epic Gateway North Real Estate Holdings, LLC.

10. Encroachment and Use Agreement with Great Plains 1001 Holdings, LLC.

11. Contracts and bonds for the remodeling of the entertainer dressing rooms/catering room/hallway at the FARGODOME.

12. Fargo Cass Public Health Mobile/Concessions Food License Application and Agreement.

13. Notice of Grant Award with the ND Department of Health for increasing influenza vaccination in high-risk adults (CFDA #93.268).

14. Amend the existing Agreement with United Way and Afro American Development Association (on behalf of ESHARA Partners) to increase funding by $17,870.00.

15. Change Order No. 1 for an increase of $20,494.60 for the Ground Transportation Center Remodel Project for the general construction contract.

16. Amendment No. 1 to Prime Agreement with Lisa Wise Consulting, Inc.

17. Recipient Agreement with the YWCA, subject to technical review by the Public Health Director and City Attorney.

18. City of Fargo COVID-19 Temporary Employment Policy – Annual Leave (vacation) Maximum Accrual.

19. Change in Transit operating hours to end service at 9:45 p.m. Monday through Saturday through the end of 2020 and resume normal operating hours beginning 1/1/21 (withdrawn).

20. Transit staff to finalize the draft RFP for transit management, drivers and dispatch services and release it on 8/17/20.

21. Bills in the amount of $10,443,252.31.

Second by Preston. On call of the roll Commissioners Piepkorn, Preston, 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. PN-18-C1 Approved:
Commissioner Piepkorn moved Negative Final Balancing Change Order No. 4 in the amount of -$15,436.13 for Improvement District No. PN-18-C1 be approved.

Second by Preston. On call of the roll Commissioners Piepkorn, Preston, 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. 5 for Improvement District No. BN-18-F2 Approved:
Commissioner Piepkorn moved Negative Final Balancing Change Order No. 5 in the amount of -$43,679.69 for Improvement District No. BN-18-F2 be approved.

Second by Preston. On call of the roll Commissioners Piepkorn, Preston, 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. PN-18-C1 Approved:
Commissioner Piepkorn moved Change Order No. 3 for an increase of $10,350.00 for Improvement District No. PN-18-C1 be approved.

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

First Amendment to Joint Powers Agreement with Southeast Cass Water Resource District (Drain 53 Improvement Project 2019-01) (Improvement District No. BN-20-C1):
The Board received a communication from the Public Works Projects Evaluation Committee (PWPEC) stating during negotiations with affected landowners, a request was proposed to acquire additional clay material from adjacent lots for LOMR work and the remnant lots would be deeded to the City/SE Cass WRD for use on this project and the next phase of drain improvements. They said as part of the bid package to be assembled by Moore Engineering, two alternatives will be offered for the construction documents for the excess material to be excavated. The first, they said, will be for the excavated material to be placed and compacted by the contractor to satisfy LOMR-F requirements and the second will be to stockpile on site for use by the developer at a future date.

Commissioner Piepkorn moved the First Amendment to Joint Powers Agreement with Southeast Cass Water Resource District (Drain 53 Improvement Project 2019-01) (Improvement District No. BN-20-C1) be approved

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

P.C. Concrete Alley Paving and Incidentals Improvement District No. AN-20-A1: Protests Received and Declared Insufficient:
The Statutory Resolution of Necessity for the construction of P.C. Concrete Alley Paving and Incidentals Improvement District No. AN-20-A1 in the City of Fargo, North Dakota, was duly published in the official newspaper for the City of Fargo, North Dakota on July 8 and 15, 2020 and protests representing six percent of the legal protest area have been received and filed in the office of the City Auditor within the legal protest period.

Commissioner Piepkorn moved that the protests be received and filed and declared insufficient.

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

Bids Received for P.C. Concrete Alley Paving and Incidentals Improvement District No. AN-20-A1:
The bids for P.C. Concrete Alley Paving and Incidentals Improvement District No. AN-20-A1 in the City of Fargo, North Dakota were opened at 11:30 o'clock a.m.,
August 5, 2020 and the bids were found to be as follows:

Key Contracting, Inc. West Fargo, ND
Bid: $133,460.00

Dakota Underground Company Fargo, ND
Bid: $144,372.00

Contract for P.C. Concrete Alley Paving and Incidentals Improvement District No. AN-20-A1 Awarded to Key Contracting, Inc. in the Amount of $133,460.00:
Commissioner Piepkorn offered the following Resolution and moved its adoption:
WHEREAS, The City Engineer has prepared and filed a detailed statement of the estimated costs of P.C. Concrete Alley Paving and Incidentals Improvement District No. AN-20-A1; and
WHEREAS, The Board of City Commissioners of the City of Fargo has considered the bids received August 5, 2020 for P.C. Concrete Alley Paving and Incidentals Improvement District No. AN-20-A1 in the City of Fargo, North Dakota; and
WHEREAS, The City Engineer's tabulation of the bids received for
P.C. Concrete Alley Paving and Incidentals Improvement District No. AN-20-A1 shows the bid of Key Contracting, Inc. of West Fargo, North Dakota, in the sum of $133,460.00 to be the lowest and best bid received.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Board of City Commissioners finds and declares the bid received from Key Contracting, Inc. in the sum of $133,460.00 is the lowest and best bid received.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the contract for P.C. Concrete Alley Paving and Incidentals Improvement District No. AN-20-A1 in the City of Fargo, North Dakota, be and the same is hereby awarded to Key Contracting, Inc. for the sum of $133,460.00, subject to the supervision, inspection and approval of the City Engineer, and in accordance with the Plans and Specifications filed in the office of the City Auditor.

Second by Preston. On the vote being taken on the question of the adoption of the Resolution Commissioners Piepkorn, Preston, Gehrig, Strand and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the Resolution was adopted.

Contract for P.C. Concrete Alley Paving and Incidentals Improvement District No. AN-19-J1 Approved:
Commissioner Piepkorn moved the Contract between the City of Fargo and Dirt Dynamics, LLC for P.C. Concrete Alley Paving and Incidentals Improvement District No. AN-19-J1 in the City of Fargo, North Dakota, be approved.

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

Contract Bond for P.C. Concrete Alley Paving and Incidentals Improvement District No. AN-19-J1 Approved:
Commissioner Piepkorn moved the following described Contract Bond be approved as to sufficiency:
RLI Insurance Company, in the amount of $152,362.00, for P.C. Concrete Alley Paving and Incidentals Improvement District No. AN-19-J1 in the City of Fargo, North Dakota.

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

Contract for P.C. Concrete Alley Paving and Incidentals Improvement District No. AN-20-B1 Approved:
Commissioner Piepkorn moved the Contract between the City of Fargo and Northern Improvement Company for P.C. Concrete Alley Paving and Incidentals Improvement District No. AN-20-B1 in the City of Fargo, North Dakota, be approved.

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

Contract Bond for P.C. Concrete Alley Paving and Incidentals Improvement District No. AN-20-B1 Approved:
Commissioner Piepkorn moved the following described Contract Bond be approved as to sufficiency:
Western Surety Company, in the amount of $172,586.00, for P.C. Concrete Alley Paving and Incidentals Improvement District No. AN-20-B1 in the City of Fargo, North Dakota.

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

2021 Preliminary Budget Approved: Public Hearing set for Tuesday, September 8, 2020 at 5:15 p.m.:
Mayor Mahoney said the 2021 preliminary budget was presented to the Commissioners at an informational meeting in July. He said the budget team has worked for two months to ensure the budget was proactive, practical and prudent enough to meet Fargo’s high standards. North Dakota Century Code requires municipalities to prepare a budget every year, he said, and Fargo’s Home Rule Charter directs the mayor to prepare and present the budget to the Commission. He said 2020 has been a year like no other and in response to COVID-19, Fargo is proud to have maintained its service levels. The City is still operating under an emergency declaration that is necessary for cost reimbursement from the State, he said; however, some expenditures have been suspended, including City-sponsored travel. He said while there are expected reductions in municipal highway funds and state aid distributions, building permit values have doubled from the 2019 statistic and sales tax figures are about 3% higher than last year. The State of North Dakota recently announced a tentative release of $6.7 million in COVID-19 relief funding for Fargo in 2020. He said five major objectives in 2021 are to focus on critical needs, maintain high service levels, continue infrastructure investments, maintain replacement and repair schedules, and nurture community relationships. Major initiatives, he said, include the F-M Area Flood Diversion Project, Red River Valley Water Supply Project and continued regionalization of utilities, including expansion of the wastewater plant. He said a new interactive utility billing software will be introduced, the process is beginning for Southside Fire Station No. 8 and support continues for workforce development initiatives. He said commitment to service includes the following: the Core Neighborhood Plan formation, community relations and inclusivity efforts, Land Development Code (LDC) diagnostic, expanding utility regionalization, updated infrastructure funding policy and maintaining street-level excellence. Three major categories for budgetary expenses are personnel, operating and capital expenses, he said, and he proposes that three services, Transit, the Civic Center and the Baseball Stadium will be moved out of the General Fund to Enterprise Funds in 2021 due to the fact that they operate like enterprise services. The total number of requested personnel positions is down, he said. He recommends adding 2.25 full-time positions in the General Fund and a contractual community outreach employee. He recommends one position in Wastewater and one in Transit; however, he said, with retirements from the Civic Center, this results in a net zero increase. He shared an explanation of capital funding strategies for General Fund, Equipment Fund and Debt-Financed Funds and a list of projects that may be considered for debt-financed financing in the future. The General Fund 2021 budget is $97.44 million, an increase of 4.8%, he said, with 77% dedicated to salaries and benefits, 22% to operating costs and 1% to capital outlay. The 2021 General Fund revenue projection is a 0.6% increase, he said, and no mill levy increase is proposed. Two fee increases are proposed to keep the mill levy unchanged, he said, a residential wastewater rate increase of $2.50 and a forestry rate of $.48 for residential and $1.68 for commercial per month. He said last week the City received a preliminary health insurance renewal premium estimate increase of 18% - 21% from Blue Cross Blue Shield and the budget had contained a premium increase of 15%. He said the recommendation is that the budget be increased 21% to allow for the higher than anticipated policy renewal and that there be a cap of 7% on the City employee share, with the City funding the balance of the increase for 2021. There will be an opportunity for public comments on Tuesday, September 8th, he stated.

In response to a question from Commissioner Strand asking about those employees not eligible for a step increase on the City’s pay scale, Finance Director Kent Costin said under this proposal, employees who have not yet been capped out for sake of pay would advance a step, anywhere from 3 percent to 6 percent. The approximately 20% of employees at max pay would not receive any additional compensation, he said, and would only receive additional pay when there is a competitive wage adjustment to actually raise the pay scale.

In response to a question from Commissioner Preston asking whether this is similar to the past as far as 20% not getting an increase and if more employees are hitting the top of the scale, Mr. Costin said there is always turnover and the number of employees at max pay varies.

Mayor Mahoney said a competitive wage adjustment is done when possible; however, the current pandemic condition has prevented that. He said there is a contingency plan and this is a conservative budget. He said one study shows the City of Fargo being in the top 10 of getting through COVID-19.

Commissioner Preston moved the Mayor’s 2021 Preliminary Budget be approved and the public hearing be set for Tuesday, September 8, 2020 at 5:15 p.m.

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

Discussion on Body Cameras:
In response to a question from Commissioner Strand about budgeting and Police body cameras, Mayor Mahoney said there would be some room in the budget with the COVID-19 funds from the State. Body cams cost around $300,000.00, he said, and if two personnel were needed to run data, it would be a half million-dollar expense. Panasonic is going to a new model, he said, and if the present model is purchased, it will become obsolete in two to three years. The thought process of the budget team was to allow the new Police Chief to come in and come up with a plan on how to proceed with the purchase of body cameras, he said, then bring it to the Board.

Commissioner Piepkorn said when there are body cameras, claims against Police drop by 67 percent. He said he would like to know projected savings in man-hours if there are cameras. He said with cameras, the police act better and the public acts better. Another thing he would like to propose, he said, is that rather than the current procedure when there is a claim against the Police Department and then the department investigates itself, he would like to have an outside body investigate. He would suggest that BCI or some outside law enforcement agency review whatever the issue is, he said, and he would like to see a ballpark estimate on cost for that as well.

Commissioner Gehrig said this is a good time to discuss body cameras with a new Police Chief coming in, there is a great interest in public policing and the budget cycle is now. Not knowing the cost or cost savings, he said, he would like to direct the Police Department to estimate the cost of body cameras and to draft a standard operating procedure for how information is maintained and vetted.

Interim Police Chief Ross Renner said the department uses LexiPol Policy Manuals, which have policies set forth for body cameras so it would take very little work to change language for retention and review. He said options are being explored with Panasonic, the company that supplies the in-car cameras. He said generally citizen complaints go down when cameras are used and court cases increase. He said very few officers are opposed to cameras, as they can provide an accurate picture. A new Police Chief may have a different opinion, he said; however, he is in favor of cameras and he feels most officers are as well.

Commissioner Piepkorn said it would be important to have the new Police Chief participate.

Commissioner Gehrig moved the Police Department be directed to estimate the cost of body cameras and draft standard operating procedures for those cameras if implemented and to have the information prepared for when the new police chief is in place.

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

Summary of a Meeting to Discuss the 2020 Election Received and Filed:
City Auditor Steve Sprague summarized a meeting held that included himself, Mayor Mahoney, Commissioner Preston, Cass County Auditor Mike Montplaisir and Election Coordinator DeAnn Buckhouse. He said they discussed turnout and how to keep voters safe. Cass County has already received 28,000 applications for absentee voting in the November election, he said, and will be utilizing voting centers. There will be early voting as there has been in the past, with more locations, he said, and days and hours will be expanded to Monday through Saturday. Typically the Monday prior there is not early voting due to set up for all the precincts, he said; however, with only six voting centers, locations will be open that Monday as well as election day. Large venues will be used with enough space to protect voters and workers and protective measures will be taken to mitigate any spread of COVID-19.

Commissioner Preston said with the voting centers, the requirement of voting within one of the 38 precincts goes away. There is flexibility, she said, the time for voting in the six voting centers is expanded plus there is the option to vote by mail.

In response to a question from Commissioner Strand asking whether the one polling location outside of Fargo is adequate for the rest of the county, Mr. Sprague said that is really up to the county. He said looking at the behavior of voters, they see enough traveling to Fargo on a regular basis and they feel the early voting center in Casselton can cover it.

Mayor Mahoney said he would ask that Mr. Sprague and Mr. Costin work with the county on an official contract, since there is nothing in place.

Commissioner Strand moved the summary of a meeting to discuss the 2020 election be received and filed.

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

Parcels of Land in Timber Parkway Fourth Addition, Timber Parkway Third Addition and Timber Parkway Second Addition Rezoned (4935 and 5081 Timber Parkway South; 3439, 3375 and 3400 James Way South; and 3360, 3401, 3430 and 3485 Jacks Way South):
At a Hearing held on July 8, 2020 the Fargo Planning Commission recommended approval of a change in zoning to Repeal and Re-establish a C-O, Conditional Overlay on Lots 1-7, Block 1, Timber Parkway Fourth Addition; Lot 3, Block 1, Timber Parkway Third Addition and Lot 1, Block 1, Timber Parkway Second Addition.
The City Auditor's Office published a Notice of Hearing stating this is the time and date set for said Hearing at which time all interested persons could appear and would be heard.

Planning Coordinator Donald Kress said at one time the property was intended to be developed as an outlet mall and the overlay was for increased development standards with that in mind; however, the property has developed differently and the applicant proposes making the Conditional Overlay match and remove language related to the outlet mall.

Commissioner Preston offered the following Resolution and moved its adoption:
WHEREAS, All legal requirements in connection with the above-described request for rezoning have been complied with; and
WHEREAS, There have been no written or verbal protests to the request for rezoning and no one is present to protest thereto.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the findings of staff and the Planning Commission be accepted and the rezoning be approved with the Conditional Overlay requirements listed in the Ordinance on the basis that it satisfactorily complies with the Comprehensive Plan, Standards of Section 20-0906.F (1-4) and all other applicable requirements of the LDC.

Second by Piepkorn. On the vote being taken on the question of the adoption of the Resolution Commissioners Preston, Piepkorn, Gehrig, Strand and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the Resolution was adopted.

First Reading of an Ordinance Rezoning Certain Parcels of Land Lying in Timber Parkway Fourth Addition, Timber Parkway Third Addition and Timber Parkway Second Addition to the City of Fargo, Cass County, North Dakota:
Commissioner Preston moved the requirement relating to receipt of the Ordinance by the Commission one week prior to first reading be waived and that the Ordinance Rezoning Certain Parcels of Land Lying in Timber Parkway Fourth Addition, Timber Parkway Third Addition and Timber Parkway Second Addition to the City of Fargo, Cass County, North Dakota be placed on first reading.

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

Parcels of Land in South Haven Subdivision Rezoned (2505-2617 65th Avenue South):
At a Hearing held on July 8, 2020 the Fargo Planning Commission recommended approval of a change in zoning from SR-2, Single Dwelling Residential to SR-3, Single Dwelling Residential.
The City Auditor's Office published a Notice of Hearing stating this is the time and date set for said Hearing at which time all interested persons could appear and would be heard.

Planning Coordinator Donald Kress said the developer proposes the zoning change to allow more flexibility in development.

In response to a question from Mayor Mahoney asking what the plans are for the location, Stan Ryland said he has had success with three-plex rentals.

Commissioner Preston offered the following Resolution and moved its adoption:
WHEREAS, All legal requirements in connection with the above-described request for rezoning have been complied with; and
WHEREAS, There have been no written or verbal protests to the request for rezoning and no one is present to protest thereto.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the findings of staff be accepted and the rezoning be approved on the basis that the proposal satisfactorily complies with the Comprehensive Plan, Standards of Section 20-0906.F (1-4) and all other applicable requirements of the LDC.

Second by Piepkorn. On the vote being taken on the question of the adoption of the Resolution Commissioners Preston, Piepkorn, Gehrig, Strand and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the Resolution was adopted.

First Reading of an Ordinance Rezoning Certain Parcels of Land Lying in South Haven Subdivision to the City of Fargo, Cass County, North Dakota:
Commissioner Preston moved the requirement relating to receipt of the Ordinance by the Commission one week prior to first reading be waived and that the Ordinance Rezoning Certain Parcels of Land Lying in South Haven Subdivision to the City of Fargo, Cass County, North Dakota be placed on first reading.

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

Parcels of Land in Sanford South Campus Addition Rezoned (1720 University Drive South and 1701, 1719, 1723, 1727, 1731, 1735, 1739, 1743 and 1747 11th Street South):
At a Hearing held on May 5, 2020 the Fargo Planning Commission recommended approval of a change in zoning from SR-2, Single Family Residential and GC, General Commercial with a C-O, Conditional Overlay to GC, General Commercial with a C-O, Conditional Overlay.
The City Auditor's Office published a Notice of Hearing stating this is the time and date set for said Hearing at which time all interested persons could appear and would be heard.

Planning Coordinator Donald Kress said some residences have been removed along 11th Street South and a parking lot is proposed along with façade changes. He said the plat takes the hospital lot and existing lots, and plats them into an existing large lot. He said the proposed zoning change takes the entire property, which will become one lot, into General Commercial with Conditional Overlay standards.
Mike Graalum, 1744 Prairie Lane, said there is a lot of unused parking in the area and he does not feel more is needed.

In response to a question from Commissioner Preston about neighborhood comments heard about on-street parking, Mr. Kress said there is currently no parking on both sides of the street and there was one person who wanted less restrictive parking and one who wanted to keep it as is. He said that was not part of the plat and zone change, and the citizen was referred to the City’s Traffic Engineer.

In response to a question from Commissioner Strand asking whether property tax revenue will be lost from these lots since the houses are gone and a non-profit owns them, City Attorney Erik Johnson said historically under tax law, analysis looks at which parts are exempt or not used as a hospital by a nonprofit and that determines whether it is exempt or not exempt.

City Assessor Michael Splonskowsi said if a property is being used in a for-profit situation, it would be on the tax rolls; however, if it is for something along the lines of a Foundation, it would be a question whether it could be taxed. He said he can bring a report back to the next meeting.

Commissioner Strand said it is important to pay attention to the revenue exchange, potential loss and hopefully someday, a consistent application to all nonprofits.

Commissioner Preston offered the following Resolution and moved its adoption:
WHEREAS, All legal requirements in connection with the above-described request for rezoning have been complied with; and
WHEREAS, There have been no written or verbal protests to the request for rezoning and no one is present to protest thereto.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the findings of staff be accepted and the rezoning be approved on the basis that the proposal satisfactorily complies with the Comprehensive Plan, Standards of Section 20-0906.F (1-4) and all other applicable requirements of the LDC.

Second by Piepkorn. On the vote being taken on the question of the adoption of the Resolution Commissioners Preston, Piepkorn, Gehrig, Strand and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the Resolution was adopted.

First Reading of an Ordinance Rezoning Certain Parcels of Land Lying in the Proposed Sanford South Campus Addition to the City of Fargo, Cass County, North Dakota:
Commissioner Preston moved the requirement relating to receipt of the Ordinance by the Commission one week prior to first reading be waived and that the Ordinance Rezoning Certain Parcels of Land Lying in the Proposed Sanford South Campus Addition to the City of Fargo, Cass County, North Dakota be placed on first reading.

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

Resolution Adopted Approving Sanford South Campus Addition:
Commissioner Preston offered the following Resolution and moved its adoption:
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF CITY COMMISSIONERS OF THE CITY OF FARGO:
WHEREAS, A Plat has been filed in the office of the City Auditor entitled “Sanford South Campus Addition” containing 1 Lot, 1 Block and 6.1 acres of land more or less, located at 1720 University Drive South and 1701, 1719, 1723, 1727, 1731, 1735, 1739, 1743 and 1747 11th Street South; and
WHEREAS, A Hearing was held June 2, 2020 by the Fargo Planning Commission, and notice of such Hearing had been published, as required by law, and said Plat had been approved by the Fargo Planning Commission and by the City Engineer; and
WHEREAS, The City Auditor's Office published a Notice of Hearing on said Plat in the official newspaper for the City of Fargo on July 29 and August 5, 2020 that a Hearing would be held in the Commission Chambers, City Hall, Fargo, North Dakota at 5:15 p.m., August 10, 2020 at which time said Plat would be considered and all interested persons would be heard.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the findings and recommendations of staff and the Planning Commission be accepted and the Plat entitled “Sanford South Campus Addition” be and the same is hereby in all things affirmed and approved on the basis that it complies with the Standards of Article 20-06, and all other applicable requirements of the Land Development Code, and that the Mayor of the City of Fargo and the appropriate City Officials are hereby directed to endorse their approval on the Plat and then direct Petitioner to file same for record in the Office of the Recorder of Cass County, North Dakota.

Second by Piepkorn. On the vote being taken on the question of the adoption of the Resolution Commissioners Preston, Piepkorn, Gehrig, Strand and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the Resolution was adopted.

Annexation of Property Located on the East Half of Section 15, Township 140 North, Range 49 West of the Fifth Principal Meridian, Cass County, North Dakota Approved: No Protests Received:
A notice was published in the official newspaper for the City of Fargo, as required by law, on July 29, 2020 stating that a petition had been filed with the City of Fargo for annexation of property located on the East Half of Section 15, Township 140 North, Range 49 West of the Fifth Principal Meridian, Cass County, North Dakota containing 110.23 acres, more or less.

Commissioner Piepkorn offered the following Resolution and moved its adoption:
WHEREAS, A Resolution of Annexation was published, as required by law, in the official newspaper for the City of Fargo on July 29, 2020 annexing approximately 110.23 acres of land located in Cass County; and
WHEREAS, The Board of City Commissioners finds and declares that no protests have been filed with the City Auditor's Office after publication of the Annexation Resolution adopted by the Board of City Commissioners on August 10, 2020.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the tract of land described in said Resolution of Annexation be and the same is hereby annexed to, made part of and included within the corporate limits of the City of Fargo, Cass County, North Dakota, and that the City Auditor's Office be and is hereby directed to record said annexation plat in the Cass County Recorder’s Office in Fargo, North Dakota.

Second by Preston. On the vote being taken on the question of the adoption of the Resolution Commissioners Piepkorn, Preston, Strand, Gehrig and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the Resolution was adopted.

First Reading of an Ordinance Annexing a Certain Parcel of Land Lying in the East Half of Section 15, Township 140 North, Range 49 West in Cass County, North Dakota:
Commissioner Piepkorn moved the requirement relating to receipt of the Ordinance by the Commission one week prior to first reading be waived and that the Ordinance Annexing a Certain Parcel of Land Lying in the East Half of Section 15, Township 140 North, Range 49 West in Cass County, North Dakota be placed on first reading.

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

Parcels of Land in North Fargo Industrial Addition Rezoned (3701 40th Avenue North and 4201 and 3261 County Road 81 North):
At a Hearing held on August 4, 2020 the Fargo Planning Commission recommended approval of a change in zoning from AG, Agricultural to LI, Limited Industrial.

The City Auditor's Office published a Notice of Hearing stating this is the time and date set for said Hearing at which time all interested persons could appear and would be heard.
Current Planning Coordinator Donald Kress said this property is currently in the City’s extra-territorial jurisdiction and the annexation hearing for this property was the previous item on the agenda. He said the 2007 North Fargo Tier 1 East Growth Plan designates the area of this project as industrial land use and per that plan, this proposed LI, Limited Industrial zoning is consistent with the land use designation.

Commissioner Piepkorn offered the following Resolution and moved its adoption:
WHEREAS, All legal requirements in connection with the above-described request for rezoning have been complied with; and
WHEREAS, There have been no written or verbal protests to the request for rezoning and no one is present to protest thereto.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the findings of staff be accepted and the rezoning be approved on the basis that the proposal satisfactorily complies with the Comprehensive Plan, Standards of Section 20-0906.F (1-4) and all other applicable requirements of the LDC.
Second by Preston. On the vote being taken on the question of the adoption of the Resolution Commissioners Piepkorn, Preston, Strand, Gehrig and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the Resolution was adopted.

First Reading of an Ordinance Rezoning Certain Parcels of Land Lying in North Fargo Industrial Addition to the City of Fargo, Cass County, North Dakota:
Commissioner Piepkorn moved the requirement relating to receipt of the Ordinance by the Commission one week prior to first reading be waived and that the Ordinance Rezoning Certain Parcels of Land Lying in North Fargo Industrial Addition to the City of Fargo, Cass County, North Dakota be placed on first reading.

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

Resolution Adopted Approving North Fargo Industrial Addition:
Commissioner Piepkorn offered the following Resolution and moved its adoption:
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF CITY COMMISSIONERS OF THE CITY OF FARGO:
WHEREAS, A Plat has been filed in the office of the City Auditor entitled “North Fargo Industrial Addition” containing 1 Lot, 1 Blocks and 114.10 acres of land more or less, located at 3701 40th Avenue North and 4201 and 3261 County Road 81 North; and
WHEREAS, A Hearing was held August 4, 2020 by the Fargo Planning Commission, and notice of such Hearing had been published, as required by law, and said Plat had been approved by the Fargo Planning Commission and by the City Engineer; and
WHEREAS, The City Auditor's Office published a Notice of Hearing on said Plat in the official newspaper for the City of Fargo on July 22 and 29, 2020 that a Hearing would be held in the Commission Chambers, City Hall, Fargo, North Dakota at 5:15 p.m., August 10, 2020 at which time said Plat would be considered and all interested persons would be heard.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the findings and recommendations of staff and the Planning Commission be accepted and the Plat entitled “North Fargo Industrial Addition” be and the same is hereby in all things affirmed and approved on the basis that it complies with the Standards of
Article 20-06, and all other applicable requirements of the Land Development Code, and that the Mayor of the City of Fargo and the appropriate City Officials are hereby directed to endorse their approval on the Plat and then direct Petitioner to file same for record in the Office of the Recorder of Cass County, North Dakota.

Second by Preston. On the vote being taken on the question of the adoption of the Resolution Commissioners Piepkorn, Preston, Strand, Gehrig and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the Resolution was adopted.

Application Filed by PRx Performance for Payment in Lieu of Tax Exemption (PILOT) Approved:
A Hearing had been set for July 27, 2020 on an application filed by PRx Performance for payment in lieu of property tax exemption for the primary operation of an e-commerce business with fitness-related products at 4125 24th Avenue North. At the July 27, 2020 Regular Meeting, the Hearing was continued to this date and hour.
No written protests have been filed for the attention of the Board.
The Board determined that no person is present at this Hearing to protest or offer objection thereto.

City Assessor Michael Splonskowski said due to tremendous market growth, PRx Performance has chosen to expand its current operations by building a new 170,000 square foot warehouse, fulfillment, office and manufacturing facility at 4125 24th Avenue North, with construction set to begin in September 2020. He said they recently added 20 jobs, now employing 50 people and over the next five years the company will add 99 jobs, 23 in the next two years. Of the 99 jobs, he said, 57 will pay between $13.00 to $15.00 per hour, 21 will pay between $15.00 and $21.00 per hour, 17 will pay between $20.00 and $28.00 and 4 will be more than $28.00 per hour. He said the building would be valued at more than $10 million and there is no exemption for the land; therefore, they will pay an estimated tax of $17,000.00 and the exemption as presented is for $0 for the first five years and a graduated payment after that, becoming fully taxable in year 11. He said after 10 years of operating at full capacity, PRx will have generated about $600,000.00 in tax revenues to the City of Fargo. Cass County has approved the application, he said, and Fargo Public Schools has not indicated, which means they are on board with it.

Brian Brasch, PRx Performance CEO, gave a background on the history of PRx Performance and the company’s space saving technology for fitness training equipment. He said PRx was on the television show “Shark Tank” in 2016 and he shared a short video of the “Shark Tank” update created in 2017 about the company’s success and featured a visit from Kevin O’Leary. He said when COVID-19 hit, the company offered to hire employees from some struggling businesses that they have collaborated with in the past and the company also supports a number of initiatives. Being able to bring experienced manufacturing support allows expansion of the product line, he said, and they are launching into Canada and working toward other international markets. Additionally, he said, the company wants to bring financing in-house and to take its fitness app to another level.

Ryan Asheim, Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation, said this project has a lot of economic impact, a huge capital investment and headquarters for a global company. He shared the effect on the community of all those additional jobs, increased sales and the one-time construction activity. He said there are indirect and induced sales tax and property tax impacts, not factoring in the requested incentives.

In response to a question from Commissioner Gehrig asking whether he would carry on with the expansion and hiring if the request was denied, Mr. Brasch said he would; however, the question would be how efficiently they could do so. He said the company recently took out a seven-digit bank loan just to be sure there was enough inventory to serve customers.

In response to a question from Commissioner Strand asking the total dollar amount of the PILOT, Mr. Splonskowski said the benefit in tax dollars is about $1 million. He said the land tax would be $368,000.00 over the term of the PILOT.

Commissioner Strand said he expressed concerns when he first became a Commissioner about low wage jobs being incentivized. He said if someone is asking for government support, he believes it should be for living wages and when he feels he cannot support it when he sees $13.00 per hour for 57 jobs. He said the policies and tax incentives all need to be revisited.

Mr. Brasch said most everyone is starting at $15.00 per hour now and raises are given at least once a year.

Commissioner Piepkorn moved that the application filed by PRx Performance for a 10-year payment in lieu of tax exemption pursuant to Chapter 40-57.1, NDCC be approved as follows:

Years 1-5 $0
Year 6 $14,041.00
Year 7 $42,124.00
Year 8 $70,207.00
Year 9 $98,289.00
Year 10 $126,372.00

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

Application for Abatement or Refund of Taxes #4487 on Property at 1515 45th Street South for the 2018 Tax Year Approved:
City Assessor Michael Splonskowski is recommending the application filed by Stephanie Nyhus of Ducharme, McMillan and Associates on behalf of Scheels All Sports Inc. requesting the valuation for 2018 be reduced from $28,286,000.00 to $25,397,000.00 for property located at 1551 45th Street South be approved. He said in the past this type of application has been recommended to be denied; however, this is a unique situation.

In response to a question from Commissioner Strand asking whether this opens a Pandora’s Box in this economy if many businesses also seek reductions, Mr. Splonskowski said in this case, his Department was not able to find sales to support the value put on it and so they ended up just using a cost approach. He said due to the fact that Scheels is such a unique property, other businesses will not be able to ask for the same due to the fact that this is such a different property and different use.

Commissioner Piepkorn moved application #4487 filed by Stephanie Nyhus of Ducharme, McMillan and Associates on behalf of Scheels All Sports Inc. requesting the valuation for 2018 be reduced from $28,286,000.00 to $25,397,000.00 for property located at 1551 45th Street South be approved.

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

Application for a Property Tax Exemption for Improvements Made to a Building for Tabitha Meyer Approved:
Commissioner Strand moved the application filed by Tabitha Meyer, 1405 15th Street South for a 5-year property tax exemption for improvements made to a building be approved.

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

Appointments to the Planning Commission:
The Board received a communication from Mayor Mahoney recommending that Rocky Schneider and Dawn Morgan be reappointed to the Planning Commission.
Commissioner Preston moved Rocky Schneider and Dawn Morgan be reappointed to the Planning Commission for three-year terms ending June 30, 2023.
Second by Strand. On call of the roll Commissioners Preston, Strand, Gehrig and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the motion was declared carried.

At 6:21 p.m., the Board took a five-minute recess.
After recess: All Commissioners present. Mayor Mahoney presiding.

Appointment of Members to the Fargo Youth Initiative for the 2020-2021 School Year Approved:
The Board received a communication from City Commissioner Tony Gehrig on his recommendations for appointments to the Fargo Youth Initiative (FYI) for the 2020-2021 academic school year. He said he would like to recommend the following interested participants:
Returning Members: Olivia Drake (Davies-12), Yvonnah Marshall (South-12), Aarya Panwalkar (North-11), Erika Spanjer (North-11), Kha (Andy) Tao (Davies-11) Sophie Brantner (Oak Grove-10), Andrew Green (Oak Grove-10), Jayden Lindgren (Davies-10).
New Members: Fatima Alaa Attia (North-11), Anne Lougheed (South-12), Laila Kantarevic (South-12), Samuel Swenson (Shanley-11), Abhijna Kavasseri (North-9).

Fargo Youth Initiative members in attendance introduced themselves and Ms. Drake said the Fargo Youth Initiative is a liaison between Fargo youth and the Board. Throughout the year, she said, the group looks at issues through a youth lens and later in the year, they can give recommendations on legislation and policies for the Board to consider.

Commissioner Preston moved the members recommended to the Fargo Youth Initiative for the 2020-2021 school year be approved.

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

Mask Directive for the City of Fargo Approved:
Mayor Mahoney said there were some calls and questions after the last meeting about the mask directive. He said he proposed another directive that is easier to understand and states that the City strongly encourages residents and visitors to utilize face masks within public places, common areas and private businesses and when unable or unlikely to maintain six feet of space; continue proper distancing whenever possible; and practice healthy handwashing and hygiene habits, including the regular disinfection of commonly touched surfaces. The directive will take effect August 17th, he said, and shall be re-examined by the City Commission in three months. He said after the last meeting, the Board realized there were residents who wanted to speak on the topic.

Residents Bette Grande, Doug VandenMeulen, Glenn Knudson and Bridget Erteldt shared their concerns and perspectives on the effectiveness and problems with the wearing of masks during the pandemic.

Commissioner Strand said if the pandemic worsens, he would again bring up a City-wide mask requirement if it is needed.

Commissioner Preston moved the Mask Directive for the City of Fargo be approved as presented.

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

Temporary Employment Policy on Mask Usage Approved:
Mayor Mahoney said the City Commission approved a directive on July 27, 2020 to develop a mask usage policy for the employees of the City of Fargo. He said a mask usage policy has been developed and will be effective August 17th and will stay in effect until it is repealed. The policy states that employees shall follow the policy with the spirit and intent of preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Commissioner Preston moved the Temporary Employment Policy on Mask Usage be approved as presented.

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

Attorney General’s Letter Declining the Request for an Attorney General Opinion Regarding Firearm Sales as a Prohibited Home Occupation Received and Filed:
Commissioner Gehrig said he would like City Attorney Erik Johnson to explain the letter from the Attorney General’s office that was received regarding the Land Development Code (LDC) Text Amendment matter discussed at the June 15, 2020 City Commission meeting. He said he would like to place the item on the next agenda to allow residents an opportunity to express their views.

Mr. Johnson said the Attorney General’s office has declined to issue an opinion as requested regarding firearm sales as a home occupation. He said the office indicated “some situations are unsuited for an opinion, including when the question calls for interpreting an Ordinance.” He said the City Attorney continues to be ultimately responsible for interpreting City Ordinances and advising City officials on legal issues.” He said there were two actions at the June 15th meeting, one of which was to “table” the proposed Text Amendment and the second motion was to request an opinion from the Attorney General as to whether the State Statute that prohibits cities from establishing greater restrictions on the sale of firearms was exceeded by Fargo’s LDC provision that prohibited firearm sales and certain other activities as home occupations.

Commissioner Gehrig said this issue is not settled now that the Attorney General’s office has declined an opinion. He said it goes back to the starting point of deciding what to do with this and he has heard a lot from the public. He said he feels there needs to be a time for the Board to hear what the public thinks.

Mayor Mahoney said the recently implemented 30-minute public comment period added to the meeting agendas allows residents 2.5 minutes to speak on any topic, so that could be an opportunity.

In response to a question from Commissioner Strand asking about the process with the committee looking at home-based businesses, Planning Director Nicole Crutchfield said that is likely out a good six to eight months as far as the LDC diagnostic and Core Neighborhood Plan diagnostic. She said the motion has been integrated into the scope of work of the consultant and both processes are about midway and pivoting into a deeper dive with stakeholders.

Commissioner Preston said it seems it would be a big mistake to pull out one of those home occupation items and not look at all of them.

Commissioner Preston moved the letter from the Attorney General’s office be received and filed.

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

Discussion Regarding Tax Review Policy:
Commissioner Gehrig said in 2016, when John Strand and Tony Grindberg joined the Board, there were meetings to explain the City’s Tax Review Policy. He said since then, and as Commissioner Strand laid out, there are some questions on topics such as pay scales, incentives to apartment complexes, how much of the housing should below-income based, etc. He said now there is a new Commissioner; therefore, he would like a discussion in the near future for explanation and discussion on the policies and possible changes as the Board sees fit.

Mayor Mahoney said there could be some informative time set aside to discuss some new policies, perhaps a half-hour representing the policy and a half-hour brainstorming. He asked Commissioner Piepkorn to arrange that.

Resident Comment Period:
Mayor Mahoney read the guidelines for the public comment period. He said it would be limited to 30 minutes with each speaker allowed up to 2 minutes and 30 seconds. He asked speakers to sign in and stated that there will be no action taken during the resident comment period; it is a time for listening and learning. Faith Dixon, Andrew Buck and Mike Graalum shared their opinions on body cameras, masks, parking and zoning.

Commissioner Piepkorn moved that the Board adjourn to 5:00 o’clock p.m., Monday, August 24, 2020.
Second by Preston. All the Commissioners voted aye and the motion was declared carried.

The time at adjournment was 7:00 o’clock p.m.