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Fargo City Commission - January 13, 2020 Minutes

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 4:00 o'clock p.m., Monday, January 13, 2020.
The Commissioners present or absent were as shown following:
Present: Gehrig, Grindberg, Piepkorn, Mahoney.
Absent: Strand.
Mayor Mahoney presiding.

Commissioner Piepkorn moved that the Board retire into Executive Session to discuss negotiating strategy and/or to provide negotiating instructions to its negotiator, the Mayor, and to also consult with its attorneys regarding the terms of an existing agreement with, and the negotiation of a revised agreement with, the Fargo Municipal Airport Authority, which matters are reasonably anticipated to result in civil litigation, AND for the purpose of attorney consultation in Kelsh v. City of Fargo, Case No. 3:18-cv-269 to discuss negotiating strategy or provide negotiating instructions to its attorney or other negotiator regarding the pending litigation. To discuss these matters in an open meeting will have a negative fiscal effect on the bargaining and/or litigation position of the City, he said; thus, an Executive Session for said matters is authorized pursuant to North Dakota Century Code 44-04-19.1 subsections 2 and 9.
Second by Grindberg. All the Commissioners present voted aye and the motion was declared carried.

At 4:05 o’clock p.m., the Board moved to the Red River Room to discuss said matters in Executive Session.
Members present were: Gehrig, Grindberg, Piepkorn, Strand and Mahoney.

The Executive Session closed at 4:30 o’clock p.m. and the meeting reconvened in public session at 5:00 o’clock p.m.
All Commissioners present. Mayor Mahoney presiding.

The Mayor congratulated the NDSU Bison football team on its 8th National FCS Championship, then read a message with the following information: January is Cervical Health Awareness Month; building permit values declined in 2019 with preliminary value totals at $381 million compared to $514 million in 2018; citizens are reminded to check for ice and snow on their roofs due to the fact that as snow melts it becomes denser and increases in weight; the Library’s Winter Read-a-Thon runs through March 1st; seven new police officers were sworn in during a ceremony earlier today in the Commission Chambers; Officer Dave Cochran and his K9 partner, Falco, competed recently in “America’s Top Dog” and won a spot in the upcoming finale where they will compete for a $25,000.00 cash prize; the City recently partnered with Minnkota Recycling to promote the “Cans to Cartons” Recycling Challenge to raise money for Fargo Public Schools’ “Got No Milk” program; the Fargo Human Relations Commission annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration will be January 20th at the Fargo Theatre and a video was shown about the upcoming celebration; a video was also shown of the groundbreaking ceremony held recently at the Mercantile Project.

Order of Agenda Approved:
Commissioner Grindberg moved the Order of the Agenda be approved.
Second by Gehrig. All the Commissioners voted aye and the motion was declared carried.

Minutes Approved:
Commissioner Strand moved that the Minutes of the Regular Meeting of the Board held on December 30, 2019 be approved as read.
Second by Gehrig. 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. Amendment to the Right of Entry to Construct and Lease Agreement and Lease Agreement with Northland Hospitality, LLC.
2. Amended Site Authorizations for the Boys & Girls Club of the Red River Valley at Red River Lanes and Fargo Billiards and Gastropub.
3. Applications for Games of Chance:
a. Lake Agassiz Girls Choir for a raffle on 5/17/20; Public Spirited Resolution.
b. Muskies Inc. FM Chapter for a raffle on 2/13/20.
c. Nativity Elementary School for a raffle board on 1/31/20.
4. Purchase Agreement with Kelmar Property 6, LLC in the amount of $2,000.00 for land located at 1805 Sheyenne Loop North.
5. Amendment of Right of Way Contract (North Dakota) with NuStar Pipeline Operating Partnership L.P.
6. Agreement (Regulator Bollard Protection in the Public Right of Way) with Xcel Energy, Inc.
7. Joint Powers Agreement - Urban Legal Assessment Drains with Southeast Cass Water Resource District.
8. Negative Final Balancing Change Order No. 2 in the amount of -$68,584.14 for Project No. HD-18-A1.
9. Contract Amendment No. 4 with HDR Engineering in the amount of $76,606.25 for Project No. FM-15-J0.
10. Notice of Grant Award – Amendment with the ND Department of Health for increasing immunization rates for local public health units.
11. Resolution Approving Plat of Timber Parkway Fourth Addition (Attachment “A”).
12. Request for Proposals for redevelopment of 1015, 1019, 1023 and 1027 13th Avenue South.
13. Bills in the amount of $4,687,111.05.

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

Joint Powers Agreement – Drain 53 Improvement Project No. 2019-01 with Southeast Cass Water Resource District Approved (Improvement District Nos. FM-20-C1 and BN-20-C1).
The Board received a communication from the Public Works Projects Evaluation Committee stating they recommend approval of a Joint Powers Agreement with Southeast Cass Water Resource District (SECWRD) for Drain 53 improvements. They said the cost share with SECWRD follows past projects for in-town drain improvements

Commissioner Piepkorn moved the Joint Powers Agreement – Drain 53 Improvement Project No. 2019-01 with Southeast Cass Water Resource District for Improvement District Nos. FM-20-C1 and BN-20-C1 be approved.

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

Incentive/Disincentive Clause for a Portion of Improvement District No. BR-20-B Approved (7th Avenue North between Broadway and 2nd Street):
The Board received a communication from the Public Works Projects Evaluation Committee stating that due to the impact to the traveling public, staff is recommending to incentivize the portion of the 7th Avenue North project between 2nd Street and Broadway. An incentive of $5,000.00/day for up to 20 days for a total possible incentive of $100,000.00 is the recommendation, they said, as well as a disincentive of $5,000.00/day for the same section.

Commissioner Piepkorn moved the incentive/disincentive for Improvement District No. BR-20-B be approved as recommended.

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

Negative Final Balancing Change Order No. 1 for Improvement District No. SL-19-E1 Approved:
Commissioner Piepkorn moved Negative Final Balancing Change Order No. 1 in the amount of -$11,921.60 for Improvement District No. SL-19-E1 be approved.

Second by Grindberg. On call of the roll Commissioners Piepkorn, Grindberg, 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. 2 for Improvement District No. PR-19-G1 Approved:
Commissioner Piepkorn moved Negative Final Balancing Change Order No. 2 in the amount of -$15,383.58 for Improvement District No. PR-19-G1 be approved.

Second by Grindberg. On call of the roll Commissioners Piepkorn, Grindberg, 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. 2 for Improvement District No. UN-18-C1 Approved:
Commissioner Piepkorn moved Negative Final Balancing Change Order No. 2 in the amount of -$16,807.21 for Improvement District No. UN-18-C1 be approved.
Second by Grindberg. On call of the roll Commissioners Piepkorn, Grindberg, Gehrig, Strand and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the motion was declared carried.

Change Order No. 13 and Time Extension for Improvement District No. BR-18-B1 Approved:
Commissioner Piepkorn moved Change Order No. 13 for an increase of $23,994.92 and a four-day time extension for Improvement District No. BR-18-B1 be approved.

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

Addition of Improvement District No. FM-20-C1 to the 2020 Capital Improvement Plan Approved:
The Board received a communication from the Public Works Projects Evaluation Committee regarding a recommendation to add Improvement District No. FM-20-C1 to the 2020 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). They said the project will deepen and widen Drain 53 from 64th Avenue South to approximately the future 73rd Avenue South. The project will also build a levee on the west side of Drain 53 from 64th to 70th Avenue South to tie into a future southern line of protection for developing Selkirk Additions, they said, and on the east side of Drain 53 from the existing levee at Golden Valley south to the southern line of protection for developing Madelyn Meadows. The Southeast Cass Water Resource District (SECWRD) will fund the widening and deepening of the channel, they stated, and the City’s portion is for the flood-control levee elements of the project.
The negotiated cost share will be around 50 percent each, they said, which is expected to be $715,000.00 and the City’s cost share will come primarily from Special Assessments. Engineering has worked closely on developing these drainage improvements with SECWRD , they said, and recommends adding the project to the 2020 CIP for an estimated cost of $1.43 million.

Commissioner Piepkorn moved the addition of Improvement District No. FM-20-C1 to the 2020 Capital Improvement Plan be approved.

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

Sanitary Sewer, Water Main, Storm Sewer, Street Reconstruction and Incidentals Improvement District No. BR-20-C (Various Locations in North Fargo):
Commissioner Piepkorn moved the following action be taken in connection with Sanitary Sewer, Water Main, Storm Sewer, Street Reconstruction and Incidentals Improvement District No. BR-20-C:

Adopt Resolution Creating Improvement District No. BR-20-C:
WHEREAS, The Board of City Commissioners of the City of Fargo, North Dakota, deems it expedient that Improvement District No. BR-20-C in the City of Fargo, North Dakota, be created

On 3rd Avenue North from University Drive North to 10th Street, on 11th Street North from 2nd Avenue to 4th Avenue and on 12th Street North from 3rd Avenue to 4th Avenue.

COMPRISING:
Lot 12, Block 29.
Lots 1 through 12, Block 36.
Lots 4 through 12 and the vacated alley adjacent to said lots, Block 37.
Lots 4 through 6 and all of the vacated 12th Street North adjacent to said lots,
Block 44.
All in Roberts 2nd Addition.

Lots 1 through 10 and its vacated alley, Block 45.
All in Maeley’s Subdivision of Block 45 Roberts 2nd Addition.

Lot 1, Block 1.
All in Lime Addition.

Lot 1 and the entire vacated alley adjacent to said lot, Block 1.
All in Craig’s 1st Addition.

Lots A through D, Lots G, H and K, and the vacated alley adjacent to said lots, Block 28.
All in Douglas 2nd Subdivision.

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

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That Sanitary Sewer, Water Main, Storm Sewer, Street Reconstruction and Incidentals Improvement District No. BR-20-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-20-C:
Direct City Engineer to report as to the general nature, purpose and feasibility relative to the construction of Improvement District No. BR-20-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 $2,427,246.19.)

Order Plans and Specifications for Improvement District No. BR-20-C:
Direct City Engineer to prepare Plans and Specifications for the construction of Improvement District No. BR-20-C in the City of Fargo, North Dakota.

Adopt Resolution Approving Plans and Specifications and Engineer's Report for Improvement District No. BR-20-C:
WHEREAS, The Board of City Commissioners of the City of Fargo, North Dakota, has created Improvement District No. BR-20-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-20-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 Sanitary Sewer, Water Main, 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 Sanitary Sewer, Water Main, Storm Sewer, Street Reconstruction and Incidentals Improvement District No. BR-20-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 the entire cost of said improvement be specially assessed against the benefited property in said improvement district in amounts proportionate to and not exceeding the benefits to be derived by them respectively from said improvement.
Protests against the proposed Sanitary Sewer, Water Main, 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-20-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-20-C in the City of Fargo, North Dakota.

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

Water Main Replacement, Street Reconstruction, Asphalt Mill and Overlay and Incidentals Improvement District No. BR-20-E (Various Locations in South Fargo):
Commissioner Piepkorn moved the following action be taken in connection with Water Main Replacement, Street Reconstruction, Asphalt Mill and Overlay and Incidentals Improvement District No. BR-20-E:

Adopt Resolution Creating Improvement District No. BR-20-E:
WHEREAS, The Board of City Commissioners of the City of Fargo, North Dakota, deems it expedient that Improvement District No. BR-20-E in the City of Fargo, North Dakota, be created

On 17th Street South from 21st Avenue to 25th Avenue and on 25th Avenue South from 18th Street to the east side of 14th Street.

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

Lot 1, Block 1.
All in Oak Court Addition.
Lots 1 through 3, Block 1.
All in Old Oak 2nd Addition.

Lots 1 through 11, Block 8.
All in Oak Manor 2nd Addition.

Lot 1, Block 1.
All in S and W 3rd Addition.

Lots 7 and 8, Block 7.
All in Wentz Addition.

Lot 1, Block 8.
All in Wentz Addition.

Lot 1, Block 2.
All in S and W 3rd Addition.

Lot 1, Block 1.
All in KJEHF Point Addition.

Lots 1 through 33, Block 4.
All in Arrowhead Addition.

Lots 1 through 10, Block 1.
All in Arrowhead Addition.

Lot 1, Block 3.
All in Fargo Mall Addition.

Lot 1, Block 2.
All in Fargo Mall Addition.

Lot 1, Block 1.
All in Arrowhead Estates Addition.

Lots 1 and 2, Block 2.
All in Arrowhead Estates Addition.

Lot 21, Block 2.
All in Arrowhead Estates Addition.

Lots 1 through 26, Block 7.
All in Oak Manor 2nd Addition.

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

Lots 10 through 18, Block 6.
All in Oak Manor 2nd Addition.

Lot 1, Block 1.
All in Oak Manor 2nd Addition.

Lot 1, Block 2.
All in Oak Manor 1st Addition.
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, Asphalt Mill and Overlay and Incidentals Improvement District No. BR-20-E 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-20-E:
Direct City Engineer to report as to the general nature, purpose and feasibility relative to the construction of Improvement District No. BR-20-E 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 $1,893,343.00.)

Order Plans and Specifications for Improvement District No. BR-20-E:
Direct City Engineer to prepare Plans and Specifications for the construction of Improvement District No. BR-20-E in the City of Fargo, North Dakota.

Adopt Resolution Approving Plans and Specifications and Engineer's Report for Improvement District No. BR-20-E:
WHEREAS, The Board of City Commissioners of the City of Fargo, North Dakota, has created Improvement District No. BR-20-E 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-20-E 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, Asphalt Mill and Overlay 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, Asphalt Mill and Overlay and Incidentals Improvement District No. BR-20-E 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 the entire cost of said improvement be specially assessed against the benefited property in said improvement district 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, Asphalt Mill and Overlay 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-20-E:
Direct City Auditor's Office to publish a Notice, as required by law, calling for bids for the construction of Improvement District No. BR-20-E in the City of Fargo, North Dakota.

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

Settlement Agreement and Release of Claims in the Matter of Scot Kelsh v. City of Fargo Approved:
City Attorney Erik Johnson said litigation was brought against the City by Scot Kelsh and the motion tonight will be to approve a Settlement Agreement and Release of Claims.
Commissioner Gehrig moved the tentative amount of $63,000.00 be approved and to authorize the Mayor to sign the Settlement Agreement admitting no liability or wrongdoing by the City upon presentation and finalization of the terms.

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

Memorandum of Understanding Between the City of Fargo and the Fargo Municipal Airport Authority Approved Contingent Upon the Municipal Airport Authority’s Approval:
City Attorney Erik Johnson said the City has been in mediation and negotiations with the Municipal Airport Authority (MAA) regarding a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and there is a statute in North Dakota law that allows parties to negotiate a Settlement Agreement in a certain order. He said the City Commission will act tonight with a public vote on a draft MOU and then the MAA will meet tomorrow and act on the same MOU. Under North Dakota Open Records Law, he said, the contents of the MOU can remain confidential until both parties have approved the contents.

Commissioner Grindberg said whenever there is contention between two parties the ultimate goal is compromise and consensus. He said he wants to thank Commissioner Strand and Mayor Mahoney for going forward with this mediation in the spirit of compromise. He said there were a lot of misunderstandings about amending an agreement from 50 years ago; however, this agreement is the City’s best effort to amend that agreement based on good faith negotiations.

Commissioner Strand moved the Memorandum of Understanding with the Fargo Municipal Airport Authority be approved contingent upon approval by the Fargo Municipal Airport Authority.

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

Recommendation to Declare the Building Located at 18 8th Avenue North a Dangerous Building Withdrawn:
A Hearing had been set for December 30, 2019 on a dangerous building located at 18 8th Avenue North.
At the December 30, 2019 Regular Meeting the Hearing was continued to this date and hour; however, the Inspections Department has withdrawn the request due to the fact that a licensed contractor chosen by the owner has obtained a demolition permit. Should the owner fail to demolish the building in the time allowed by the permit, they said, a dangerous building Hearing will be requested.

Commissioner Grindberg moved the request be withdrawn.

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

Parcels of Land in Lane’s Subdivision of Block 69 of Ohmer’s Subdivision Rezoned (1206 13th Avenue North):
At a Hearing held on December 3, 2019 the Fargo Planning Commission recommended approval of a change in zoning from MR-3, Multi-Dwelling Residential to LC, Limited Commercial on a portion of Lots 7 and 8 and a portion of the adjacent vacated alley of Lane’s Subdivision of Block 69 of Ohmer’s Subdivision.
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 the applicant is Sigma Psi Housing LLC and they are requesting this zone change in order to demolish and rebuild the existing Kappa Delta Sorority house to accommodate more sleeping and common space. He said the new facility will be on the 1261 North University Drive lot with off-street parking on the 1206 13th Avenue North lot. The Planning Commission approved a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to allow group living in the LC, Limited Commercial, he said, and a CUP to allow an Alternative Access Plan for parking reduction. The Roosevelt Neighborhood Association is in favor of the project, he said.

Commissioner Grindberg 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 Gehrig. On the vote being taken on the question of the adoption of the Resolution Commissioners Grindberg, Gehrig, Piepkorn, 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 Lane’s Subdivision of Block 69 of Ohmer’s Subdivision to the City of Fargo, Cass County, North Dakota:
Commissioner Grindberg 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 Lane’s Subdivision of Block 69 of Ohmer’s Subdivision to the City of Fargo, Cass County, North Dakota be placed on first reading.

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

Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of Taxable Annual Appropriation Bonds, Series 2020A (Mercantile Parking Garage), Approving Certain Actions, Awarding the Sale Thereof and Approving Forms of Documents Required in Connection Therewith:
The Board received a communication from Finance Director Kent Costin stating that City Commission previously approved the development plans for the construction of the Mercantile Parking Garage and the Finance Department, the City’s financial advisors and bond underwriter are planning to issue bonds for the project in mid-January. The City’s bond counsel prepared a bond parameters Resolution that allows the Finance team to issue bonds pursuant to the specific issuance criteria the Board authorizes, he said.

Terri Heaton, Baker Tilly, said the Resolution is for a proposed $11,540,000.00 taxable annual appropriation bond. She said this is a 25-year term bond and the repayment will come from Parking Authority revenues and Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District revenues. She said there are certain parameters that have to be met including the bond cannot exceed $11,600,000.00, which it does not, and the interest rate cannot exceed 5 percent. She said she is estimating that the interest rate will be 3.7 percent or 3.8 percent and the bond purchase agreement also authorizes the Mayor, the City Auditor and the Director of Finance to sign the bond purchase agreement with Baird, who is negotiating the transaction as the underwriter. Part of this was to have a rated transaction, she said, and the rating assigned to the City’s bonds is an AA2 stable and it was previously an AA1 with a negative outlook. She said for a couple of years, several factors were observed including operations, finances, market values, debt values, unemployment and tax base. Multiple factors were compared to other communities and a couple of years ago it was determined it was not a fit. She said before 2011, Fargo was an AA2 and then with sales taxes and other categories, the rating went to AA1, which probably fits Fargo better than AA2. She said the bond market feels Fargo has a stable economy, healthy operating returns, the City’s overall debt and rating outlook is stable, and Fargo’s broad tax base will continue to provide for the revenue growth needed to accommodate the City's debt. The City's financial position is expected to remain healthy, she said, bolstered by strong liquidity and significant levying ability. For this 25-year bond, based on all of that, she said, the interest rate at about 3.6 percent to 3.7 percent is good news in that a year ago, this same type of bond was at 4.39 percent.

In response to a question from Commissioner Piepkorn asking if the City should refinance other debt, Ms. Heaton said every quarter she brings forward refinancing options and she continuously monitors those options.

In response to a question from Commissioner Gehrig, asking why Fargo’s bond rating went down and compared to other cities, is it fair to say that bond sales such as this one have negatively impacted Fargo’s bond rating, Ms. Heaton said ratings are looked at in a number of ways. She said some communities are not investing in their community and cities can get an unfavorable review if a city’s infrastructure is not maintained. She said it is a balance and she does not think there is any one defining factor. The bond market is continually looking at a combination of how much tax base a city can support, she said, and Fargo is growing and has great trends. She said one thing that is unique in Fargo is a sales tax revenue that supports many operations in the community and the city’s management is also considered, which is top-drawer in Fargo. There are many other factors, she said, such as if a city has a lot of debt, that would be a negative; however, if a city has too little debt the market would be looking at what is not being taken care of. She said at this point, Fargo has been moving within one category, which is not a big swing, and the market is just trying to see where Fargo is going to land.

Commissioner Gehrig said Fargo’s debt is important and he has made the case that incentives have been harmful to the City and this bond is for a TIF district for another parking ramp, which is bad for the City. He said the City is taking on more debt, which is hurting the City’s bond rating. He said it affects everything from the Diversion to special assessments. This will affect how much more expensive special assessments will be, he said, and will make things in general more expensive for the people of Fargo.

Ms. Heaton said the negative outlook happened a couple years ago and now with the new rating, Fargo has a stable outlook.
In response to a question from Commissioner Gehrig asking if Fargo was negative with a better rating and now is stable with a worse rating, Ms. Heaton said the rating has stabilized indicating this is where the City was going to be.

Commissioner Grindberg moved that the Resolution titled “Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of Taxable Annual Appropriation Bonds, Series 2020A (Mercantile Parking Garage), Approving Certain Actions, Awarding the Sale Thereof and Approving Forms of Documents Required in Connection Therewith” and referred to as Attachment “B,” be adopted and attached hereto.

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

State Water Commission Request for Cost Reimbursement for FM Diversion Flood Project Costs Approved:
The Board received a communication from Finance Director Kent Costin stating the State Water Commission is requesting $1,954,126.65 for cost reimbursement for the FM Metropolitan Area Flood Risk Management Project for November 2019. He said the costs are for land purchased for the channel and upstream mitigation, soil-boring payments to landowners, residential relocation assistance and rights of entry for biotic and geomorphic services.

Commissioner Strand moved the cost reimbursement request in the amount of $1,954,126.65 for the FM Diversion Flood Project be approved as presented.

Second by Grindberg. On call of the roll Commissioners Strand, Grindberg, Gehrig, Piepkorn 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. Francis E. and Barbara M. Leier, 3217 35 1/2 Court Avenue South (3 year).
b. Mary A. McManus, 3668 15th Street South (3 year).
c. Greg and Nancy Bjerke T/O/D, 2973 Peterson Parkway South (3 year).
d. Dustin T. and Amber I. Ertelt, 3901 17th Street South (3 year).
e. Nichelson Oil Inc., 1902 7th Avenue North (3 year).
f. Joseph T. Day and Lisa H. Horn, 2917 36th Avenue South (3 year).
g. Rhett and Maha Fiskness, 77 Prairiewood Drive South (5 year).
h. Bob Michels, 3719 Burritt Street South (5 year).
i. Julie A. Volk, 2918 Edgewood Drive North (5 year).
j. Brock A. Ackerman, 1433 6th Avenue South (5 year).

Commissioner Piepkorn moved the applications be approved.

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

Application for Abatement or Refund of Taxes #4486 Filed by Christopher Stafford of Fredrickson & Byron, PA representing Fargo Doublewood Inn LP at 3333 13th Avenue South Withdrawn:
The application for abatement or refund of taxes #4486 for the 2017 tax year submitted by Christopher Stafford of Fredrikson & Byron, PA representing the Fargo Doublewood Inn LP for a reduction in value of property at 3333 13th Avenue South, was withdrawn by the applicant.
Commissioner Grindberg moved the application be withdrawn.

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

Deb Mathern and Prakash Mathew Appointed to the Renaissance Zone Authority:
The Board received a communication from Mayor Mahoney recommending that Deb Mathern be reappointed to the Renaissance Zone Authority and Prakash Mathew be appointed to a three-year term to replace Bruce Furness, who does not wish to be reappointed.

Commissioner Gehrig moved Deb Mathern be reappointed and Prakash Mathew be appointed to the Renaissance Zone Authority for three-year terms ending January 1, 2023.

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

Sonya Donahue Appointed to the Native American Commission:
The Board received a communication from Mayor Mahoney recommending that Sonya Donahue be appointed to the Native American Commission to replace Guy Fox, who has resigned.

Commissioner Gehrig moved Sonya Donahue be appointed to the Native American Commission to fill the unexpired term of Guy Fox for a term ending June 30, 2021.

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

Appointments to the Metro Flood Diversion Board of Authority and Policy Committees Approved:
The Board received a communication from Mayor Mahoney stating the Metro Flood Diversion Board of Authority requests the City Commission appoint its representatives to the FM Diversion Board of Authority and Finance, Land Management and Public Outreach Committees for 2020. He is recommending the following appointments:

FM Diversion Board of Authority:
Mayor Tim Mahoney
City Commissioner Tony Grindberg
City Commissioner Dave Piepkorn

FM Diversion Finance Committee:
Mayor Tim Mahoney
City Commissioner Tony Gehrig
City Commissioner Tony Grindberg

FM Diversion Land Management Committee:
City Commissioner John Strand

FM Diversion Public Outreach Committee:
City Commissioner John Strand

Commissioner Gehrig moved the appointments of members to the Metro Flood Diversion Board of Authority and Policy Committees for calendar year 2020 be approved, as presented.

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

Commissioner Grindberg moved that the Board adjourn to 5:00 o’clock p.m., Monday, January 27, 2020.

Second by Piepkorn. All the Commissioners voted aye and the motion was declared carried.
The time at adjournment was 5:27 o’clock p.m.