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City Commission

Board of City Commission - December 14, 2020

The Regular Meeting of the Board of City Commissioners of the City of Fargo, North Dakota, was held in the City Commission Chambers at City Hall at 5:00 o'clock p.m., Monday, December 14, 2020.
The Commissioners present or absent were as shown following:
Present: Gehrig, Piepkorn, Preston, Strand, Mahoney.
Absent: None.
Mayor Mahoney presiding.

The Mayor read a message with the following information: All Fargo Public Library locations are continuing no-contact curbside pick-up service until further notice; the downtown Main Library has a Mask and Mitten Tree in the lobby; the Library’s outdoor StoryWalk continues through December 31st; Police Department personnel participated in a No Shave November fundraising event and raised $8,864.00; PD is preparing to hire three new officers on January 11th; recruitment is under way for the next Fargo Police Academy in May; three officers, who were graduates of the first Fargo Police Academy, have completed the police-training program; nominations are due December 18th for the Human Relations Commission’s MLK Day Human Relations awards; the ND Cares City of Fargo Chapter has received a $10,000.00 grant from the Bob Woodruff Foundation to combat food insecurity for veterans and their families; and videos were shown featuring the grand opening of Broadway Square and the Fire Department’s response to a large fire.

Order of Agenda Approved:
Commissioner Gehrig moved the Order of the Agenda be approved.

Second by Piepkorn. All the Commissioners voted aye and the motion was declared carried.

Minutes Approved:
Commissioner Preston moved that the Minutes of the Regular Meeting of the Board held on November 30, 2020 be approved as read.

Second by Strand. All the Commissioners voted aye and the motion was declared carried.

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

1. Findings of Fact and Order, and Notice of Entry of Order for property at 1714 5th Avenue South.
2. Receive and file General Fund – Budget to Actual through 11/20 (unaudited).
3. Implementation of a policy for the billing of the services the City continues to support even if the water is disconnected at the curb beginning the fall of 2021.
4. Amended Site Authorization for Prairie Public Broadcasting, Inc. at Slammer’s Sports Bar & Grill.
5. Application for Games of Chance for the El Zagal Shrine Arab Patrol for a raffle on 3/19/21.
6. Agreement with Peggy Amsbaugh.
7. Final Balancing Change Order No. 14 for an increase of $2,487.58 for Project No. FM-15-K1.
8. Negative Final Balancing Change Order No. 2 in the amount of -$28,126.75 for Project No. UR-19-E1.
9. Negative Final Balancing Change Order No. 6 in the amount of -$119,062.23 for Project No. UR-19-A1.
10. Bid awards to Sysco for food purveyor, Vistar for candy purveyor and Cole Paper and Dacotah Paper for janitorial products at the FARGODOME as per the respective bid tabulations from 1/1/21 through 12/31/23 with the option of two, one-year renewals at mutually agreed prices.
11. State Water Commission request for cost reimbursement for the FM Metro Area Flood Risk Management Project for costs totaling $8,334,015.02.
12. Addendum to provision of nursing services for the Mapleton Public School District.
13. Agreement for Services with Kyle Boster.
14. Agreement for Services with Cody Mauch.
15. Purchase of Service Agreement in the amount of $14,750.00 per month, not to exceed $177,000.00, with the ND Department of Human Services for substance abuse prevention.
16. Stimulus funds from the Bob Woodruff Foundation in the amount of $10,000.00 for the ND Cares Veteran Program to target food insecurity.
17. Addendum to provision of nursing services for the Northern Cass Public School District.
18. Set December 28, 2020 at 5:15 p.m. as the date and time for a hearing on a dangerous building at 1021 10th Street North.
19. Agreement with North Dakota State University to allocate $20,000.00 for the Food Security Fund.
20. Bid award to Sanitation Services in the amount of $58,844.40 for the purchase of one RC Mower (PBC-T-775(5)).
21. Bid award to Tyler’s Tree Service at an estimated total of approximately $24,000.00 for pruning debris collection (RFP21009).
22. Final Balancing Change Order in the amount of $118,676.00 for Project No. SW19-01.
23. Quantity changes and final invoice with Industrial Builders for Project No. SW19-01.
24. Substantially complete First Transit Agreement for 1/1/21 to 12/31/22.
25. Transit fare-free service through 3/31/21 and to request reimbursement through the CARES grant, contingent upon approval from the Moorhead City Council.
26. Bid awards to American General Contractors, Inc. in the amount of $1,425,000.00 for the general construction contract; to Dakota Plains Mechanical in the amount of $161,140.75 for the mechanical construction contract; and John’s Refrigeration and Electric, Inc. in the amount of $164,746.00 for the electrical construction contract for Project No. WA2012.
27. Change Order No. 1 for an increase of $27,105.76 for Project No. WA2004.
28. Task Order No. 39 with AE2S in the amount of $627,140.00 for Project No. WA2005.
29. Change Order No. 1 for a decrease in the amount of $10,000.00 for Project No. WW1701.
30. Five-Year Professional Engineering Service Agreements for 2021-2025, with the potential for a five-year extension, with the firms as presented (RFQ20161).
31. Bills in the amount of $18,426,420.21.

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

Change Order No. 1 and Time Extension for Improvement District No. BN-20-L1 Approved:
Commissioner Strand moved Change Order No. 1 for an increase of $349,456.00 and time extension to the Interim, Substantial and Final Completion dates for Improvement District No. BN-20-L1 be approved.

Second by Gehrig. On call of the roll Commissioners Strand, Gehrig, Piepkorn, Preston 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. SL-20-E1 Approved:
Commissioner Strand moved Final Balancing Change Order No. 1 in the amount of $0.00 for Improvement District No. SL-20-E1 be approved.

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

Negative Final Balancing Change Order No. 2 for Improvement District No. NR-19-A1 Approved:
Commissioner Strand moved Negative Final Balancing Change Order No. 2 in the amount of -$5,242.60 for Improvement District No. NR-19-A1 be approved.

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

Negative Final Balancing Change Order No. 2 for Improvement District No. PN-20-A1 Approved:
Commissioner Strand moved Negative Final Balancing Change Order No. 2 in the amount of -$208,498.10 for Improvement District No. PN-20-A1 be approved.

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

Sole Source Procurement with Ducks Unlimited, Inc. for Purchase of Wetland Mitigation Credits Approved (Improvement District No. BN-21-A1):
The Board received a Report of Action from the Public Works Projects Evaluation Committee stating the 64th Avenue South street and overpass construction project will negatively affect 0.72 acres of wetland. They said the purchase of Wetland Credits will allow the project to go forward and the cost for the credits is $43,200.00.
Commissioner Strand moved the purchase of Wetland Mitigation Credits from Ducks Unlimited, Inc. in the amount of $43,200.00 for Improvement District No. BN-21-A1 be approved.

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

No Protests Received for Sanitary Sewer, Water Main, Storm Sewer, Paving and Incidentals Improvement District No. BN-20-M1:
The Statutory Resolution of Necessity for the construction of Sanitary Sewer, Water Main, Storm Sewer, Paving and Incidentals Improvement District No. BN-20-M1 in the City of Fargo, North Dakota, was duly published in the official newspaper for the City of Fargo, North Dakota on November 25 and December 2, 2020 and no protests have been filed in the office of the City Auditor within the legal protest period.
Commissioner Strand moved that the Board declare that no protests have been filed to the construction of Sanitary Sewer, Water Main, Storm Sewer, Paving and Incidentals Improvement District No. BN-20-M1.

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

Bids Received for Sanitary Sewer, Water Main, Storm Sewer, Paving and Incidentals Improvement District No. BN-20-M1:
The bids for Sanitary Sewer, Water Main, Storm Sewer, Paving and Incidentals Improvement District No. BN-20-M1 in the City of Fargo, North Dakota were opened at 11:45 o'clock a.m., December 9, 2020 and the bids were found to be as follows:

Dakota Underground Company Fargo, ND
Bid: $1,789,299.60

Paras Contracting Inc. Fargo, ND
Bid: $1,803,026.71

Northern Improvement Company Fargo, ND
Bid: $1,851,580.00

KPH, Inc. Fargo, ND
Bid: $1,932,634.20

Dirt Dynamics, LLC Fargo, ND
Bid: $1,957,276.85

Fox Underground, Inc. West Fargo, ND
Bid: $2,029,629.55

Strata Corporation Grand Forks, ND
Bid: $2,098,511.25

Sellin Brothers, Inc. Hawley, MN
Bid: $2,258,687.00

Contract for Sanitary Sewer, Water Main, Storm Sewer, Paving and Incidentals Improvement District No. BN-20-M1 Awarded to Dakota Underground Company in the Amount of $1,789,299.60:
Commissioner Strand offered the following Resolution and moved its adoption:
WHEREAS, The City Engineer has prepared and filed a detailed statement of the estimated costs of Sanitary Sewer, Water Main, Storm Sewer, Paving and Incidentals Improvement District No. BN-20-M1; and
WHEREAS, The Board of City Commissioners of the City of Fargo has considered the bids received December 9, 2020 for Sanitary Sewer, Water Main, Storm Sewer, Paving and Incidentals Improvement District No. BN-20-M1 in the City of Fargo, North Dakota; and
WHEREAS, The City Engineer's tabulation of the bids received for Sanitary Sewer, Water Main, Storm Sewer, Paving and Incidentals Improvement District
No. BN-20-M1 shows the bid of Dakota Underground Company of Fargo, North Dakota, in the sum of $1,789,299.60 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 Dakota Underground Company in the sum of $1,789,299.60 is the lowest and best bid received.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the contract for Sanitary Sewer, Water Main, Storm Sewer, Paving and Incidentals Improvement District No. BN-20-M1 in the City of Fargo, North Dakota, be and the same is hereby awarded to Dakota Underground Company for the sum of $1,789,299.60, 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 Gehrig. On the vote being taken on the question of the adoption of the Resolution Commissioners Strand, Gehrig, Piepkorn, Preston and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the Resolution was adopted.

Water Main Replacement, Street Reconstruction and Incidentals Improvement District No. BR-21-A (Various Locations in North Fargo):
Commissioner Strand moved the following action be taken in connection with Water Main Replacement, Street Reconstruction and Incidentals Improvement District No. BR-21-A:

Adopt Resolution Creating Improvement District No. BR-21-A:
WHEREAS, The Board of City Commissioners of the City of Fargo, North Dakota, deems it expedient that Improvement District No. BR-21-A in the City of Fargo, North Dakota, be created

On 7th Avenue North from University Drive to Broadway.
On 11th Street North from 6th Avenue to 7th Avenue.

COMPRISING:
Lots 1 through 12, inclusive, Block 1.
Lots 1 through 16, inclusive, Block 2.
All in Stern’s Addition.
Lots 1 through 6 and A through J, inclusive, Block 3.
Lots 1 through 18, inclusive, Block 4.
Lots 1 through 6 and A through J, inclusive, Block 5.
Lots 1 through 6 and A through J, inclusive, Block 6.
The west ½ of Lot 2 and 3 through 10, inclusive, Block 7.
All in Harwood’s Addition.

Lot 1, Block 1.
All in 701 Brew Addition, a replat of Lot 1 and east ½ of Lot 2, Block 7. Harwood’s Addition.

Lots 1 and 3 through 11, inclusive, Block 11.
Lots 1 through 1, inclusive, Block 12.
Lots 1 through 11, inclusive, Block 13.
Lots 1 through 10, inclusive, Block 16.
Lots 1 through 10, inclusive, Block 17.
Lots 1 through 10, inclusive, Block 18.
All in Harwood’s 2nd Addition.

Lots 1 through 13, inclusive, Block 9.
Lots 1 through 14, inclusive, Block 10.
Lots 1 through 10, inclusive, Block 19.
Lots 1 through 10, inclusive, Block 20.
All in Harwood’s 3rd addition.

Lots 1 through 6, inclusive, Block 1.
All in Diamond Willow Addition, a replat of Lots 15 and 16, Block 15, Douglas Addition.

Lots 1 through 14, 17 and 18, inclusive, Block 15.
All in Douglas Addition.

Lots W, X and Y, inclusive, part of Auditor’s Lots 6 and 7 of NW ¼ of Section 6.

Lots 10 through 18, inclusive, Block 1.
Lots 7 through 18, inclusive, Block 2.
All in Park Addition.

Lot 1, inclusive, Block 6.
Lot 1, inclusive, Block 7.
Lots 1 through 3, inclusive, Block 8.
Lot 1, inclusive, Block 9.
All in Meritcare Addition.

Lots 1 through 4, inclusive, Block 1.
All in Maurice Sheehan’s Subdivision of a part of Block 2, Park Addition.
Lots1 through 9, part of Block E of Chapin, Johnson & Barrett’s Addition.
Block B.
Block C.
Block D.
A portion of Block E north of 4th Avenue and up to the south edge of Kirkham’s Subdivision.
All in Chapin, Johnson & Barrett’s Addition.

Lots A through F.
All in Duncan’s Subdivision, of a part of Lots 5, 6 & 7, Block 13, Robert’s 2nd Addition.

Lots 1 through 12, inclusive, Block 12.
Lots 1 through 4, inclusive, Block 13.
Lots 1 through 5, inclusive, Block 14.
Lots 1 through 6, inclusive, Block 15.
Lots 1 through 6, inclusive, Block 17.
Lots 1 through 9, inclusive, Block 18.
Lots 5 through 9, inclusive, Block 19.
Lots 1 through 12, inclusive, Block 30.
Lots 1 through 6, inclusive, Block 31.
Lots 1 through 6, inclusive, Block 32.
Lot 1, inclusive, Block 34.
Lots 1 through 12, inclusive, Block 35.
Lots 1 through 6, inclusive, Block 46.
Lots 1 through 5, inclusive, Block 47.
All in Robert’s Second Addition.

Lots 1 through 6, inclusive, Block 1.
All in Fargo Park District North Maintenance Addition, a replat of part of Robert’s Second Addition.

Lot 1, inclusive, Block 1.
All in Christianson Addition, a replat of part of Robert’s Second Addition.

All of the unplatted, vacated and railroad land that is bounded on the north by 10th Avenue North, bounded on the west by University Drive North, bounded on the south by 4th Avenue North and bounded on the east by Broadway North.

All of the foregoing located in the City of Fargo, Cass County, North Dakota.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That Water Main Replacement, Street Reconstruction and Incidentals Improvement District No. BR-21-A in the City of Fargo, North Dakota, be and the same is hereby created.

Request Report and Estimate of Cost from the City Engineer for Improvement District No. BR-21-A:

Direct City Engineer to report as to the general nature, purpose and feasibility relative to the construction of Improvement District No. BR-21-A in the City of Fargo, North Dakota; as well as an estimate of the approximate cost of said construction. (The Engineer's estimate of cost is $4,439,346.03.)

Order Plans and Specifications for Improvement District No. BR-21-A:
Direct City Engineer to prepare Plans and Specifications for the construction of Improvement District No. BR-21-A in the City of Fargo, North Dakota.

Adopt Resolution Approving Plans and Specifications and Engineer's Report for Improvement District No. BR-21-A:
WHEREAS, The Board of City Commissioners of the City of Fargo, North Dakota, has created Improvement District No. BR-21-A in the City of Fargo, North Dakota, as required by law; and
WHEREAS, Plans and Specifications and the Engineer's Report prepared by the City Engineer, have been considered.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Plans and Specifications and Engineer's Report for the construction of Improvement District No. BR-21-A in the City of Fargo, North Dakota, be and the same are hereby approved and ordered filed in the Office of the City Auditor.

Adopt Resolution Declaring Water Main Replacement, Street Reconstruction and Incidentals Necessary:
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF CITY COMMISSIONERS OF THE CITY OF FARGO:
That it be and is hereby declared necessary to construct Water Main Replacement, Street Reconstruction and Incidentals Improvement District No. BR-21-A in the City of Fargo, North Dakota, according to the Engineer’s Report for this district and the Plans and Specifications approved by the Board of City Commissioners of the City of Fargo, North Dakota, filed in the Office of the City Auditor, and open for public inspection. A map of the district is attached hereto and incorporated as if fully set forth herein.
That a portion of said Water Main Replacement, Street Reconstruction and Incidentals improvement is to be paid from State and Local Funds, and approximately 39% is to be assessed against the benefited property in amounts proportionate to and not exceeding the benefits to be derived by them respectively from said improvement.
Protests against the proposed Water Main Replacement, Street Reconstruction and Incidentals must be in writing and must be filed with the City Auditor's Office within 30 days after the first publication of this Resolution.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the City Auditor's Office is hereby instructed to publish this Resolution, as required by law.

Direct City Auditor's Office to Call for Bids for Improvement District No. BR-21-A:
Direct City Auditor's Office to publish a Notice, as required by law, calling for bids for the construction of Improvement District No. BR-21-A in the City of Fargo, North Dakota.

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

Water Main Replacement, Storm Sewer, Street Reconstruction and Incidentals Improvement District No. BR-21-C (21st Avenue South from Gold Drive to 15th Street):
Commissioner Strand moved the following action be taken in connection with Water Main Replacement, Storm Sewer, Street Reconstruction and Incidentals Improvement District No. BR-21-C:

Adopt Resolution Creating Improvement District No. BR-21-C:
WHEREAS, The Board of City Commissioners of the City of Fargo, North Dakota, deems it expedient that Improvement District No. BR-21-C in the City of Fargo, North Dakota, be created

On 21st Avenue South from Gold Drive to 15th Street.

COMPRISING:
Lots 3 and 4, Block 1.
All in Mjelde Addition.

Lot 1, Block 1.
All in Oak Court Addition.

Lots 2 and 3, Block 1.
All in Old Oak 2nd Addition.

Lots 10 and 11, Block 8.
All in Oak Manor 2nd Addition.

Lots 14 through 17, Block 7.
All in Oak Manor 2nd Addition.

Lots 1 through 7, Block 3.
All in Oak Manor 2nd Addition.

All of the foregoing located in the City of Fargo, Cass County, North Dakota.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That Water Main Replacement, Storm Sewer, Street Reconstruction and Incidentals Improvement District
No. BR-21-C in the City of Fargo, North Dakota, be and the same is hereby created.

Request Report and Estimate of Cost From the City Engineer for Improvement District No. BR-21-C:
Direct City Engineer to report as to the general nature, purpose and feasibility relative to the construction of Improvement District No. BR-21-C in the City of Fargo, North Dakota; as well as an estimate of the approximate cost of said construction. (The Engineer's estimate of cost is $4,237,380.00.)

Order Plans and Specifications for Improvement District No. BR-21-C:
Direct City Engineer to prepare Plans and Specifications for the construction of Improvement District No. BR-21-C in the City of Fargo, North Dakota.

Adopt Resolution Approving Plans and Specifications and Engineer's Report for Improvement District No. BR-21-C:
WHEREAS, The Board of City Commissioners of the City of Fargo, North Dakota, has created Improvement District No. BR-21-C in the City of Fargo, North Dakota, as required by law; and
WHEREAS, Plans and Specifications and the Engineer's Report prepared by the City Engineer, have been considered.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Plans and Specifications and Engineer's Report for the construction of Improvement District No. BR-21-C in the City of Fargo, North Dakota, be and the same are hereby approved and ordered filed in the Office of the City Auditor.

Adopt Resolution Declaring Water Main Replacement, Storm Sewer, Street Reconstruction and Incidentals Necessary:
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF CITY COMMISSIONERS OF THE CITY OF FARGO:
That it be and is hereby declared necessary to construct Water Main Replacement, Storm Sewer, Street Reconstruction and Incidentals, Improvement District No. BR-21-C in the City of Fargo, North Dakota, according to the Engineer’s Report for this district and the Plans and Specifications approved by the Board of City Commissioners of the City of Fargo, North Dakota, filed in the Office of the City Auditor, and open for public inspection. A map of the district is attached hereto and incorporated as if fully set forth herein.
That a portion of said Water Main Replacement, Storm Sewer, Street Reconstruction and Incidentals improvement is to be paid from State and Local Funds, and approximately 22% is to be assessed against the benefited property in amounts proportionate to and not exceeding the benefits to be derived by them respectively from said improvement.
Protests against the proposed Water Main Replacement, Storm Sewer, Street Reconstruction and Incidentals must be in writing and must be filed with the City Auditor's Office within 30 days after the first publication of this Resolution.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the City Auditor's Office is hereby instructed to publish this Resolution, as required by law.

Direct City Auditor's Office to Call for Bids for Improvement District No. BR-21-C:
Direct City Auditor's Office to publish a Notice, as required by law, calling for bids for the construction of Improvement District No. BR-21-C in the City of Fargo, North Dakota.

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

2021 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) and 2022-2024 Federal Aid, Water Main Replacement and/or Street Reconstruction Projects Approved:
City Engineer Brenda Derrig said the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) sets the table for the next four years; however, it could be modified, depending on needs. She said with City Commission approval of the CIP, her department can begin communicating with people and businesses in the areas where projects are planned. It also gives the City the flexibility needed, she said, if a new redevelopment comes in and some things need to be shifted. She said there are about 1,400 miles of pavement in the City to maintain, of which 55 percent is asphalt and 45 percent is concrete. The water main network is more than 500 miles long of which 71 percent is PVC, 17 percent is asbestos and 12 percent is either cast or ductile iron, she said. Looking back to 2017, she said, totals for the CIP included $71.5 million in 2017, $66.9 million in 2018, $52.7 million in 2019 and $40.9 million in 2020, reduced from the original 2020 CIP of $62.2 million. She said new developments, alleys and flood prevention work are not included in the total CIP numbers due to the fact that new developments and alleys are 100 percent special assessed and constructed upon request and all the flood projects are paid by the flood sales tax. Proposed 2021-2024 CIP includes federal aid projects, water main and street reconstruction projects, flood control, pavement preservation, storm sewer utility, traffic and streetlights, she said, and totals for 2021 are about $54.6 million, $24.5 million for 2022, $55.2 million for 2023 and $50.9 million for 2024.

Assistant City Engineer Tom Knakmuhs said funds are prioritized according to several factors, including maintaining current infrastructure such as pavement preservation projects, maximizing the benefits of outside funding such as Federal Aid Projects and making improvements that benefit the most people, which includes arterial roads. He said another priority is replacement infrastructure to support redevelopment and/or reduce maintenance costs, such as water main replacement and/or street reconstruction projects. Factors that go in to what projects are programmed include the Pavement Condition Index, the age of infrastructure and looking at water main break history, he said. Other factors, he said, are streetlight and traffic signal needs due to an increase in average daily traffic, flood control needs, as well as coordination with Public Works and Planning. The Pavement Condition Index is done every four years, he said, and it assigns a rating to each segment of road in the City, which can range from 100 for newly surfaced pavement to 0, which indicates failed pavement. He said the last survey was in 2017 and a new survey will be done in 2021. He said pavement does not last forever; however, with timely applications of preservation projects, the City can extend the pavement life, which results in cost savings. He said in 2021, Pavement Preservation Projects total about $6.3 million.

Ms. Derrig said Federal Aid Projects typically come out of the Long Range Transportation Plan completed every five years by MetroCOG and federal funding buckets include urban roads, urban regional highway, urban grant program, transit, transportation alternatives, recreational trails program, special road fund, highway safety improvement program and rail safety. Requests for Federal Aid Projects are made 5 years in advance, she said, and currently projects are programmed through 2024. She said the 2021 Federal Aid Projects will include University Drive North from 32nd to 40th Avenue and 64th Avenue South from 38th Street to 33rd Street and the total for these two projects is $32.4 million. Water main replacement and/or street reconstruction projects for 2021, she said, include 7th Avenue North from University to Broadway, 21st Avenue South from Gold Drive to 15th Street and 11th Street North from NP Avenue to 1st Street North with a total estimated cost of $10.1 million. Flood control projects in 2021 total about $31.6 million, she stated, and include the Belmont Addition, Riverwood, Royal Oaks, Elm Circle and Oak Grove, as well as a rip rap project on South University Drive, demolition and flood buyouts.

In response to a question from Commission Preston asking why there is a drop in the amount of CIPs done in the past few years, Ms. Derrig said some are due to flood projects that were pushed out further, and this year, with COVID and not knowing in the spring what summer staffing would be, some projects were delayed due to the fact that those projects need an entire construction season to be completed.

Commissioner Preston said when she looks at past numbers, funding levels for true replacement projects are diminishing, which is a concern and the City cannot start falling behind on these projects. She said she understands it has been difficult due to issues with funding sources; however, in 20 years if the City keeps falling back the City will feel the pinch.

In response to a question from Commissioner Gehrig asking how the City is using Prairie Dog Funds to offset the cost of special assessments, Ms. Derrig said the City received $2.5 million in Prairie Dog Funds, which was not the full allotment and those funds are being used to help fund infrastructure projects.

Commissioner Gehrig said when the City has a project as big as 52nd Avenue one year, and then not the next year, there is going to be a disparity in how much money is spent. He said the City is spending what it needs to and he hopes in the future Prairie Dog Funds can offset special assessments due to the fact that is what people were expecting and hoping for.

Mayor Mahoney said there is bill that would restore some of the Prairie Dog Funds; however, that is going to be up to the Legislature. He said Fargo was supposed to get $25 million over the biennium and with this new bill, it might not be $25 million; however, anything would be helpful for offsetting special assessments.

In response to a question from Commissioner Strand asking if there are new alternatives to pavement and concrete coming in the future, Mr. Knakmuhs said he does not know of anything new and ultimately anything new would have to involve aggregates. He said there is more research on polymers and fiber additives to strengthen and repair pavement. There is no benefit to porous concrete or asphalt products in this area, he stated, due to the climate and heavy clay soil.
Commissioner Piepkorn moved the 2021 Capital Improvement Plan and the 2022-2024 Federal Aid, Water Main Replacement and/or Street Reconstruction Projects be approved.

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

Renaissance Zone Project for FM Title Inc. Approved:
A Hearing had been set for this day and hour to receive comments on a Renaissance Zone Project for FM Title Inc. for a business leasing property as part of a zone project at 1213 Northern Pacific Avenue North.
No written protest or objection to the Project has been received or filed in the City Auditor's Office.
The Board determined that no person is present to protest or offer objection to the Project.
The Board received a communication from Planning Director Nicole Crutchfield stating the Renaissance Zone Law states “a business that purchases or leases property as part of a zone project is exempt from income tax for five taxable years beginning in the year of the investment or lease for income derived from the business locations within the zone.” She said the Fargo Renaissance Zone Development Plan further states “Tenant must be leasing space in a building that has been approved as a zone project to be eligible for consideration.” She stated the Renaissance Zone Authority felt that lease projects such as the application from FM Title Inc. would generally be straightforward, could be advanced to the City Commission following staff review and would generally not require direct Authority action. She said staff review found the applicant has met the aforementioned requirements and the project addresses the business retention and expansion goals stated in the Renaissance Zone Development Plan. The applicant is proposing to lease approximately 5,500 square feet on part of the first floor of the building, she said, and is looking to occupy the space in late December or early January. She said the applicant estimates a $225,000.00 income tax exemption over the five-year term.

In response to a question from Commissioner Gehrig asking when the property tax exemption for this property started and if the lease exemption is for five years or does it start from the original incentive, Ms. Crutchfield said the property tax exemption started in 2016 and the lease will run on its own five-year term. She said this property has never been leased and the former occupant did not take part in the lease program due to the fact that it was a nonprofit.
Commissioner Preston moved the Renaissance Zone application filed by FM Title Inc. for a lease project located at 1213 Northern Pacific Avenue North be approved and the income tax exemptions be granted as recommended by the Renaissance Zone Authority.

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

Renaissance Zone Project for Kennelly Gunkelman Ltd. d/b/a Kennelly Business Law Approved:
A Hearing had been set for this day and hour to receive comments on a Renaissance Zone Project for Kennelly Gunkelman Ltd. d/b/a Kennelly Business Law for a business leasing property as part of a zone project at 1213 Northern Pacific Avenue North.
No written protest or objection to the Project has been received or filed in the City Auditor's Office.
The Board determined that no person is present to protest or offer objection to the Project.
The Board received a communication from Planning Director Nicole Crutchfield stating staff review found the applicant has met the aforementioned requirements and the project addresses the business retention and expansion goals stated in the Renaissance Zone Development Plan. The applicant is proposing to lease about 5,500 square feet on part of the third floor of the building, which would be the first time the building has been fully occupied since it was built. She said the applicant would likely occupy the space sometime in late December or early January. The applicant estimates a $225,000.00 income tax exemption over the five-year term, she said.
Commissioner Piepkorn moved the Renaissance Zone application filed by Kennelly Gunkelman Ltd. d/b/a Kennelly Business Law for a lease project located at 1213 Northern Pacific Avenue North be approved and the income tax exemptions be granted as recommended by the Renaissance Zone Authority.

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

COVID-19 Update:
Mayor Mahoney shared information from Fargo Cass Public Health Director Desi Fleming regarding COVID-19 numbers, which continue to decrease in North Dakota and Cass County. He said as of December 14th, Cass County has 734 active cases and as cases decrease, so has the positivity rate. Cass County’s positivity rate is slightly above the State, he said, and the mitigation strategies have impacted Cass County’s numbers and testing numbers have also decreased. He said FCPH remains cautiously optimistic things are headed in the right direction; however, he asks residents to continue current prevention practices and to seriously considering getting vaccinated when it becomes available in the community. Both health systems in Cass County will begin vaccinating staff for COVID this week, he said. Hospitalizations in the area remain high with a slight downward trend, he said, and local facilities continue to maintain current staffing patterns. He said there were 15 deaths in Cass County over the past week with 150 total deaths in Cass County and 1,157 total deaths within the State. Using the North Dakota Department of Health Risk Assessment, active cases remain in the Critical Red category, he stated; however, test positivity rate is consistently declining and is near the lower parameters of the High Risk Orange category.

Fargo-Area Unemployment Statistics Update:
Director of Strategic Planning Jim Gilmour said most Fargo-area unemployment is in the hospitality industry. Non-seasonally adjusted rates in October 2019 were about 5 percent, he said, and then there was a sharp increase in unemployment numbers nationwide. He said in North Dakota in April 2020, with unemployment nationally at almost 15 percent, the rate in North Dakota was at about 10 percent. The rate between September and October 2020 has levelled off, he said, and is now at 4 percent in North Dakota compared to the national rate of 6.6 percent. He said the Cass County unemployment rate peaked at 9.6 percent in April 2020 and is currently at 3 percent. The rates in western North Dakota are higher, he said, at about 9 percent to 11 percent. In Fargo, the unemployment rate was below 2 percent last year, he said, and jumped to 9.6 percent in April and is currently at 3.1 percent. He said the number of people employed in Fargo as of October 2020 grew to about 70,000.

In response to a question from Commissioner Preston asking if the employed numbers includes full time and part time, Mr. Gilmour said he does not know. Generally, he said, the number includes part time; however, he does not know if the growth is full time or part time or in what job sector.

In response to a question from Commissioner Strand asking if there is demographic unemployment information and if women are more impacted than men, Mr. Gilmour said national numbers indicate more women have left the workforce due to childcare availability; however, he does not have demographic information specific for North Dakota or Fargo.

Commissioner Preston said it would be interesting to know average payrolls and to see the tracking of average salaries.

Execution of a Lease to Operate Temporary Emergency Winter Sheltering at 1015 30th Avenue South Moorhead and the Allocation of up to $450,000.00 Approved:
Planning Director Nicole Crutchfield said since the onset of the pandemic, the metro area’s largest homeless shelter organizations have been coordinating to manage the impacts on shelter operations. Due to the increasing spacing needs and extra precautions for congregate living, she said, there is a need to plan for increasing winter sheltering operations. Since summer the shelters have been full, she said, which is alarming. The church sheltering program done by nonprofits and others in the past is no longer available, she said, and in years past, other shelters have been able to cover space issues. She said while looking for additional space for the upcoming winter and collaborating with the Minnesota Continuum of Care, a feasible option has come forward to lease a vacant building at 1015 30th Avenue South in Moorhead. It is on the bus line, she said, and provides easy access for providers. She said she wants to do this now and not have to talk about it in February. This would be a temporary operation for emergency use during the pandemic, she said, with estimated costs to include $146,000.00 for utilities and rent and $300,000.00 for construction and operations.

In response to a question from Commissioner Gehrig asking where funding will come from, Ms. Crutchfield said she is not exactly sure; however, she is looking at CARES Act funds, Emergency Service Grant Funds from both states, the State of Minnesota and contributions from additional partners.

Commissioner Piepkorn said he hopes CARES Act Funds pays for it; however, he needs to know how much the Commission will be voting on, how much other partners are contributing and other specifics.

Ms. Crutchfield said there is more than $200,000.00 worth of requests into the State of Minnesota from Churches United for the Homeless and the Minnesota Continuum of Care. She said she is out of options and it is her hope a portion of the $15 million that has been received from emergency requests and grants can be used to pay for this.

Commissioner Piepkorn said he thinks it is very important the Commission knows the numbers. To say the Commissioners need to act on this is true, he said; however, the Commission also has to be sure it knows where the money is coming from and who else is contributing. He said this has happened before where the Commission voted for something and then only Fargo pays.

In response to a question from Commissioner Gehrig asking if there is an “up to” amount, Ms. Crutchfield said it is up to $450,000.00

In response to a question from Commissioner Gehrig asking if this project will be paid for with funds from the CARES Act or will it come from the City’s General Fund, Mr. Redlinger said there are dollars for public safety expenses and future CARES funds which will be coded for this project and the City will be reimbursed.
Commissioner Strand moved the execution of a lease to operate temporary emergency winter sheltering at 1015 30th Avenue South Moorhead and the allocation of up to $450,000.00 be approved.

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, the motion was declared carried.

Additional Housing Assistance Gap Funding Approved:
Planning Director Nicole Crutchfield said the City Commission approved an allocation of up to $1.2 million in Red River Valley COVID-19 Task Force funds for Housing Assistance Gap Funding, including staffing assistance. She said the funds were administered by the City’s two primary partners, Southeastern North Dakota Community Action Agency (SENDCAA) and Presentation Partners in Housing (PPiH). The program was designed to support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Eviction Moratorium and to provide direct payment to landlords, she said. The program, she said, has been operating since mid-November and would like to continue until the need ceases and the CDC Eviction Moratorium ends on December 31st. She said the program has been successful and has assisted more than 1,100 qualified households with rental assistance in order to prevent evictions. The average payment on a tenant’s behalf was $1,250.00, she said, and the previous allocated funding has been expended. Prior to this program, she said, only about 5 percent of households seeking assistance through FirstLink were qualified to receive funding or getting assistance due to the backlog of applicants. In order to continue processing requests until December 31st, she said, staff is seeking up to $1 million in additional funding to continue this work and operations through the various programs previously named.

Commissioner Strand said he hopes landlords and developers who received tax incentives from the City are being congenial with their residents who are at risk. He said he hopes their hearts are open as much as the City’s pocketbooks were.

In response to a question from Commissioner Gehrig asking if the funding is from the CARES Act with no local match component, Ms. Crutchfield said it is.
Commissioner Preston moved an additional $1 million for Housing Assistance Gap Funding be approved.

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

Business Assistance Program Approved:
Assistant City Administrator Michael Redlinger said at the November 30, 2020 City Commission meeting, City staff was asked to develop a comprehensive, short-term program to provide targeted relief to the City’s restaurant and bar owners/operators. The proposed Business Assistance Program will provide immediate cost relief without creating administrative burden on these businesses, he said, and will complement Federal and State economic recovery programs available to these industries and will serve as an expression of the City’s support for these licensed establishments. He said licensed restaurant and bar operations in the City would receive two forms of economic relief from the City, including the suspension of utility charges from January 1st through June 30, 2021, and a rebate of food and alcohol license fees. Licensed establishments will not have to apply for the suspension of utility charges, he said; during this six-month period, accounts simply will not be collected. For 2021, he said, approximately 440 restaurants and bars will receive a rebate for applicable license fees paid to the City and no application will be necessary to receive the rebate. As part of City staff’s research into the Business Assistance Program, he said, the City Attorney was consulted on the legal option to rebate, gift or otherwise forgive property tax on the City portion of an establishment’s tax statement, which per North Dakota Century Code does not exist as a practical policy alternative; therefore, this option was removed from further consideration. He said Federal and State CARES Act Funds would be utilized to offset the City’s cost of suspending utility charges and rebating food and alcohol license fees at an estimate of $1,139,847.00.

In response to a question from Commissioner Gehrig asking if it is legal to rebate property taxes, City Attorney Erik Johnson said a program could be developed to allow for contributions to be made by the City towards property taxes; however, the City is not able to just grant an exemption of taxes. A rebate or payback program would affect other people and would take taxes from other people and create other problems. He said property is bought and sold every day; therefore, the City is not sure who the owner is and there are many complicating features that make it cost prohibitive and impractical.

In response to a question from Commissioner Strand asking if there is a program through the City regarding property taxes and people facing hardships, Ms. Crutchfield said there is a program for special assessments, not for property taxes.

Commissioner Preston said she did the math with 440 establishments, and if each one is treated equally, it is only about $320.00 for each establishment, which is not much.

In response to a question from Commissioner Strand asking if the City rescinded utility shutoffs, City Auditor Steve Sprague said utility shutoffs were suspended for three months with no late penalties.

Commissioner Strand thanked Commissioners Gehrig and Piepkorn for bringing this item forward, businesses are struggling and this is not a magic bullet; however, it will help. He said there are many businesses struggling, including ancillary businesses, salons and gyms. He said he would like to revisit this in order to know who is facing hardship due to the fact that the City does not know about it until someone is trying to pay a bill.

Commissioner Preston moved the Business Assistance Program be approved as presented.
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.

Request to End the State of Emergency Declaration in the City of Fargo in Light of No Funding Lost Denied:
Commissioner Gehrig said the people of Fargo want to have five Commissioners running the City, having debates, making motions and having the Commissioner’s names on the record for the votes made, which the City Commission has not been doing properly for eight months. The Emergency Powers given to the Mayor are usually used for things such as floods, he said, where decisions must be made immediately and it gives the Mayor sweeping powers to make law unilaterally. He said he was told the biggest reason for the need to maintain the Emergency Declaration was funding; however, according to City Administrator Bruce Grubb, since the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration was made at the Federal level, a local emergency was not required for funding. He said Mr. Grubb broke down two areas it would affect locally: utilizing emergency protocols for procedures for buying things unilaterally and the provision for overtime payments. He said these are not laws; these are procedures the City can use. The City Commission can vote them in if a State of Emergency is declared and with the stroke of a pen, the City Commission can make changes. It is not impossible, he said, and he does not see any benefit to having a local mandate.

Mayor Mahoney said he went back and looked at what happens and how decisions are made regarding Emergency Declarations. He said a traditional Emergency Declaration process is like a flood where locals do an Emergency Declaration then it goes to the State. He said then State does an Emergency Declaration and the hope is there will be a Federal Emergency Declaration and typically in a flood fight, the City applies for FEMA funding. In those types of disasters, he said, there has to be a sequence of events and with the 2009 flood, Fargo received $9 million in Federal funding. The problem with FEMA is the time it takes to pay, he said. With the pandemic, initially the State asked Fargo to apply for FEMA funding, he stated, and then apply for COVID funding. It was explained to the Governor that FEMA funding is complex and would take a while and it would be difficult for small communities in the area to apply due to the fact that is difficult to gather all the paperwork required for FEMA, he said. The State then decided FEMA funds could be used to pay Police officers across the state, and COVID-19 and health care funding would be separate, he said. There was a flood fight early in 2020, he said, Fargo had $320,000.00 in total expenditures for that event and Fargo is still waiting for FEMA to pay on those expenses. With COVID-19, he said, the Federal government made an Emergency Declaration on March 13th, then the State did an Emergency Declaration the same day and then Fargo did a declaration on March 16, 2020; therefore, the process was upside down. He said the City Commission voted 5-0 on April 6, 2020 to extend the Emergency Declaration until it was ended by the City Commission. At that time, he said, it was believed the local declaration was necessary for funding based on prior experiences. After the 1997 flood, he said, there was confusion about how to handle exempt employees who worked overtime, as there was not a policy. He said the Fair Labor Standards Act recognizes they could work overtime and the City adopted a policy that under extremely unusual conditions, when the Board of City Commissioners officially declares an emergency, exempt employees would be eligible to receive overtime pay. He said the Emergency Declaration also allows a temporary procurement policy, which allows the City to utilize temporary funding from State and Federal sources, which otherwise would be left on the table. For instance, he said, the procurement policy was used for the Downtown COVID-19 Drop-In Center and allowed City staff to purchase items other communities may be competing for and purchasing in rapid time. It also allowed tracked compensation of COVID-19 related hours by City staff and paid overtime for the following employees: $489,000.00 for Public Health, $224,000.00 for Public Safety and $164,000.00 for other City personnel. To Commissioner Gehrig’s comment, the money is there; however, there is a policy that an Emergency Declaration be in place in order for exempt employees to be paid. Fargo did apply to FEMA during the original round, he said, mainly for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) worth $96,000.00 and the City has not yet been paid and has no idea if or when that will come. The Emergency Declaration powers are only related to COVID-19, he said, and he cannot invoke a curfew, order evacuations, temporarily regulate alcohol sales, travel within the City, and limit occupancy and hours of businesses. He said operationally, Fargo is following the Governor's current orders relating to occupancy, face covering and hours of operation. He said any additional items pursued as a result of the Emergency Declaration will be brought forward to the City Commission for review, even if there has to be an emergency meeting, so all Commissioners can weigh in and give their views.

Commissioner Gehrig said many of these things are procedural, the Commission can make new policy and that is not a reason to keep an Emergency Declaration in place. The pay for overtime is an easy policy change and if the National Guard is needed, he said, the Commission could re-establish a State of Emergency. He said the City does not need to hold the order for eight months while waiting for something to happen. This is not a time-critical situation where the Mayor needs extra power and alienates the rest of the Commission, he said, and his argument remains the same, even in light of this presentation.

Commissioner Piepkorn said his frustration is the decision to close the bars and to limit the hours and capacity. He said he knows the Governor stepped in; however, Commissioners did not get chance to weigh in.

Mayor Mahoney said his concern is if the Commission ends the Emergency Declaration now, the City has just three weeks to spend the money and it puts employees at risk who will not be paid overtime.

Commissioner Piepkorn said he disagrees and does not think ending it puts anything at risk. He said with the State and Feds declaring an emergency, the funding is in place. It is very difficult to get FEMA to reimburse the City and that is a separate issue, he said; however, when bars are forced to close at 10 p.m., that is when they make the most money and the City is causing the most possible damage. He said that was a random decision and it is absurd to think COVID comes out at 10 p.m.

Finance Director Kent Costin said it is very difficult to get FEMA funding and he pleaded with the State of North Dakota Office of Management and Budget to not put Fargo down the FEMA path due to the fact that it is a difficult path to follow and be successful. CARES funding expires at the end of December, he said, and the State saw the FEMA decision was going to be difficult to follow and be successful in getting every agency in the State to apply and actually get funding; therefore, the State said it would pick up anything FEMA did not reimburse. He said the Emergency Declaration triggers pay rules, which are important to have in place due to the fact that a City cannot arbitrarily turn on and turn off pay rules. He said the Fair Labor Standards Act, which governs how the City does payroll, discusses emergency situations; however, what the City found in past FEMA events is the City has to religiously follow its own locally-developed payroll policies when paying employees during an event and FEMA looks at that and asks if the rules were followed and if they were, FEMA will reimburse. He said a City cannot have payroll contingent upon future potential revenue from the Federal and State government; it has to be in place and cannot be qualified. He said Fargo was one of the first cities to properly declare its policy with regard to pay and the policy states as soon as the Mayor or City Commission declares a State of Emergency, exempt employees shall be paid overtime for those hours worked on the event. The policy does not say “maybe if the City gets FEMA funding” or” maybe if the City feels better about its financial position six or eight months from now,” he said. The other issue with regard to pay on a long-term event is pay equity, he said. So far during the pandemic, he said, the City has paid $875,000.00 of which 80 percent is for exempt employees. He said the existing pay rule puts everyone on a level playing field and if that goes away, 80 percent of the City’s exempt employees working on the disaster would have their salary capped, regardless of hours worked and hourly employees would accrue overtime. He said with regard to the procurement issues, the emergency purchasing policy is in place for those rare instances where the City has to move quickly to make decisions to put some things in place. He said the activities regarding quarantining and sheltering and the Landlord Tenant Program Ms. Crutchfield has been working on feverishly for the last two months are great examples of how the emergency purchasing policy works. He said she was able to get the money obligated and get it out into the hands of the people who need it.

Commissioner Strand said the powers of a City Commissioner are they can put something on the agenda if they want to, they can call a Special Meeting and request something they want and they can rescind or reconsider motions at any time if they choose. He thanked the Mayor for saying Commissioners can consider any new orders he initiates; however, Commissioners already have those powers. He said just because someone has not acted on them is not anyone’s fault. He said he has a screen capture of a recent night where one of the City Commissioners was on television and posted all of the City Commissioner’s phone numbers, asking the public to clamor out and tell the Commissioners how they wanted these emergency powers curtailed. He said he received two calls and two emails; therefore, there is no public demand to tell the Mayor to remove these powers. He said he thinks it is time for trust and respect. He said the actions brought to the agenda regarding businesses is the way forward.
Commissioner Gehrig moved to end the Emergency Declaration for the City of Fargo in light of no funding lost.

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

Commissioner Preston Nominated to Serve on the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Selection Committee:
Assistant City Administrator Michael Redlinger said during the 2021 budget process, a Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) position was added. He said the full-time contract position was developed for the purpose of assessing and developing diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives within the community and the City of Fargo as an organization. City staff anticipates this position will work closely with City leadership, he said, as well as with the Human Relations and Native American Commissions. After receiving staff feedback, he said, the intention is to finalize the job description and post the position on December 28, 2020. He said he is asking that a City Commissioner be named to serve on the Director of DEI Selection Committee and, he said, he anticipates the review process will occur throughout January 2021 with the Selection Committee convening to interview and assess candidates in February 2021. The Native American and Human Relations Commissions will also select a member of their respective Commissions to serve on the Selection Committee.
Commissioner Strand moved Commissioner Preston be nominated to serve on the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Selection Committee.

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

Applications for Property Tax Exemptions for Improvements Made to Buildings Approved:
a. Shannon and Michele Gerlach, 3413 18th Street South (3 year).
b. Ross Perrin, 1626 36 1/2 Avenue South (3 year).
c. Mary Vigen, 3325 18th Street South (3 year).
d. Jennifer Gruss, 1514 7th Street South (5 year).
e. Donald and Joyce Brienen, 1017 20th Street South (5 year).
f. Kara Bauer and John Maya, 2117 15th Avenue South (5 year).
g. Timothy and Vanessa Lystad, 806 9th Street South (5 year).
h. Jonathan Pikalek and Stephanie Hanson, 2807 Longfellow Road North (5 year).
i. Amanda Welk, 915 2nd Avenue South, Unit 2 (5 year).
j. Christopher Mathson, 2509 Evergreen Road North (5 year).
k. Andrew and Rebecca Bakke, 1206 9th Street South (5 year).
l. Linda Monge, 2309 Evergreen Road North (5 year).
m. Timothy and Tami Hertel, 3819 River Drive South (5 year).
n. Richard and Rebecca Pittenger, 2 32nd Avenue Northeast (5 year).
o. Larry Peterson and Mary Struck, 1362 2nd Street North (5 year).
p. Sean and Jessica Foss, 1410 9th Street South (5 year).
q. Jennifer Gruss, 1514 7th Street South (5 year).
r. Nick Lee, 2514 East Country Club Drive South (5 year).
s. Bradley Garcia and Rachel Suhonen, 813 21st Avenue South (5 year).
t. Charlene and Kyle Card, 274 Prairiewood Drive South (5 year).
u. Steinberg Investments LLC, 904 2nd Street North (5 year).
v. Charles and Connie Rieck, 1407 7th Street South (5 year).
Commissioner Piepkorn moved the applications be approved.

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

City Attorney Directed to Draft an Ordinance to Allow Plantings on Boulevards:
Kim Lipetzky, Fargo Cass Public Health (FCPH) Nutritionist, said at the May 18, 2020 City Commission meeting, the Commission approved an Interim Policy allowing boulevard gardening with a sunset date of September 30, 2020. As part of the approved Interim Policy, she said, FCPH was directed to return in December to present a report on the implementation of the program. She said there were 11 inquiries about boulevard gardens and three were permitted. She said six who inquired decided not to apply due to the fact that they wanted to plant perennials and since this was a temporary program they did not want to risk the expense. Other reasons for not applying was it was too far into the season to plant, the regulations were too strict and the insurance requirement caused issues. She said two permits were denied: one due to a request for a large structure, which is not allowed, and another for previous issues with poor maintenance. The total cost for the interim policy was $775.00 for staff, travel, copying and postage. Some general observations and lessons learned, she said, include the requirements are too restrictive in some cases, the insurance requirement was confusing and a barrier for some and more education and promotion would have enhanced the program. She said promotion was limited due to COVID-19 duties and there needs to be better definitions of gardens versus plantings. She said it would be helpful to expand the use of existing resources and enhance coordination with local agencies including NDSU Extension and the Cass County Soil Conservation District. The next steps, she said, would be to consider making boulevard gardening permanent due to continued interest in gardening, food access, mental health and social interaction. She suggested using input from citizens and to work with impacted City staff and departments.

Commissioner Preston suggested the process be as simple as possible and she does not think permits and applications are needed.

City Attorney Erik Johnson said there are some issues associated with extending the use of the right-of-way and the City’s responsibilities.
Commissioner Gehrig moved to direct the City Attorney to work with Fargo Cass Public Health, Cass Clay Food Partners and impacted City departments to draft an ordinance to allow plantings, in addition to turf grass, on the boulevards.

Second by Preston. On call of the roll Commissioners Gehrig, Preston, 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., Monday, December 28, 2020.
Second by Gehrig. All the Commissioners voted aye and the motion was declared carried.
The time at adjournment was 6:39 o’clock p.m.