Menu

City Commission

Fargo City Commission - October 5, 2020 Minutes

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

Introduction and Swearing In of Police Chief David Zibolski:
Interim Police Chief Ross Renner shared background information on newly-appointed Police Chief David Zibolski, who served as Police Chief in Beloit, Wisconsin from June 2015 until accepting the position with the City of Fargo. He began his career with the Milwaukee Police Department where he served 27 years, working his way up the ranks and retiring as Captain in 2011. He served as Deputy Administrator for Wisconsin Division of Law Enforcement Services from 2011- 2015.

Mayor Mahoney administered the Law Enforcement Oath of Honor to Police Chief David Zibolski.

Police Chief Zibolski recognized and thanked all those who helped him along the way in his career and said he looks forward to working with all the members of the Police Department as it is transformed from a very good department to a great department, with a great team of law enforcement professionals. He thanked the community for the welcome received so far. He understands that citizens want to feel safe, he said, and they expect professional, fair, respectful and competent service from officers and want to be involved in some areas as well. He said he is honored to have been chosen to lead the department and looks forward to future successes in creating a Fargo that is the safest city in the State and region, and is served by the best equipped and trained, best led and most committed public servants and guardians.

The Mayor read a message with the following information: Major road projects have been completed well before the first snowfall; this is Fire Prevention Week, and four members of the Fire Department have returned from an 18-day deployment in Oregon; building permit values so far in 2020 are $576 million, already the second highest year ever; October 12th is Indigenous Peoples Day and the Native American Commission is involved in planning a full day of virtual programming; the City is making funds available for snow removal for low-and moderate-income homeowners who are elderly or disabled, applications are due October 23rd; 1,247 tons of debris was collected during Clean-Up Week, residents hauled 55 tons to the landfill, 184 truckloads of appliances were picked up along with 2,489 tires, 275 microwaves and 35 propane tanks; Transit operations have moved into the newly renovated Ground Transportation Center; and the Police Department’s Community Engagement Team partnered with Family Fare and NDSU Volleyball on September 29th to provide food for residents at The Arbors near McCormick Park and a video filmed during the event was shown. Video ads produced locally for the Red River Valley COVID-19 Taskforce’s masking campaign “For All of Us” were shared.

Order of Agenda Approved:
Commissioner Piepkorn moved the Order of the Agenda be approved, delaying Item No. “27” on the Consent Agenda for two weeks.
Second by Strand. 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 September 21, 2020 be approved as read.
Second by Gehrig. All the Commissioners voted aye and the motion was declared carried.

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

1. 1st reading of an Ordinance Amending Section 13-0901 of Article 13-09 of Chapter 13 of the Fargo Municipal Code Relating to Junk Automobiles.

2. 2nd reading and final adoption of the following Ordinances; 1st reading, 9/21/20:
a. Amending Sections 8-1701 through 8-1713 of Article 8-17 of Chapter 8, Relating to Snow Emergency Route and Snow Emergency Declaration and Section 1-0305 of Article 1-03 of Chapter 1, of the Fargo Municipal Code Relating to Penalty.
b. Amending Section 8-0101 and 8-0109 of Article 8-01 of Chapter 8, Section 18-0308 of Article 18-03 of Chapter 18, Section 10-0311 of Article 10-03 of Chapter 10, and Section 11-0201 of Article 11-02 of Chapter 11 of the Fargo Municipal Code Relating to Central Business District.

3. Resolution Approving Occupational License Fees and Reinstatement Fees-Auditor’s Office (Attachment “A”).

4. Site Authorizations for Games of Chance:
a. Team Makers Club, Inc. at Big Erv’s at Rose Creek (amended).
b. Metro Sports Foundation at Mexican Village.

5. Application for Games of Chance:
a. Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Red River Valley for a raffle on 12/11/20.
b. FM Raise Your Spirits Inc. for a raffle and raffle board on 10/9/20.
c. Jeremiah Program Fargo Moorhead for a raffle on 10/30/20.
d. Fargo Angels Hockey for a raffle on 12/15/20.
e. Fargo Youth Hockey Association for a raffle on 2/4/21.

6. Bid award to Design Cleaning LLC in the amount of $191,744.00 for three years of Janitorial Services at the Fargo Police Department (RFP20121).

7. Change Order No. 3 for an increase of $29,648.84 for Project No. TM-19-B1.

8. Contract Amendment No. 1 with Houston Engineering in the amount of $20,000.00 for Project No. FP-19-A0.

9. Contract Amendment No. 4 with Moore Engineering in the amount of $143,000.00 for design and $730,840.00 for construction administration for Project No. FM-16-A0.

10. Memorandum of Understanding Regarding Cass County Highway 81 with Cass County.

11. Acknowledgement and Consent to Collateral Assignment of Development Agreement with Ryan Fargo, LLC.

12. Amended and Restated Encroachment Agreement (Adjacent to Block Nine Plaza) with Block 9 Partners LLC.

13. Third Amendment to Service and Usage Agreement with Patron Solutions, LP d/b/a New Era Tickets (Paciolan).

14. Independent Auditor’s Report and the City’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the year ending 12/31/19.

15. Notice of Grant Award from the USDA and ND Department of Health for WIC
(CFDA #10.557).

16. Notice of Grant Award from the ND Department of Health and Human Services for cancer and obesity prevention in childcare (CFDA #93-898).

17. Notice of Grant Award with the ND Department of Health for regional public health network implementation (CFDA #93.991).

18. Benefit renewals, as presented, effective 1/1/21.

19. Resolution Approving Plat of 2750 Main Addition (Attachment “B”).

20. Order for Supplies or Service with the 119th Wing, North Dakota Air National Guard, as presented.

21. Sole Source Procurement with EnviroTech Services, Inc. for Ice Slicer granular ice melt (SSP20152).

22. Extension of the Agreement between Owner and Engineer for Professional Services with KLJ, Inc. for two additional years (RFP19127).

23. Bid awards for the following:
a. to General Equipment in the amount of $4,400.00 per month for rental of one wheel loader at the FARGODOME.
b. to Butler Machinery in the amount of $15,900.00 for three month rental of one winter dozer and to Titan Machinery in the amount of $3,150.00 per month rental of three wheel loaders.

24. Reject the bids for the VW Mitigation City Hall Charging Station Project and rebid in 2021.

25. Advertisement of an RFQ to select Professional Engineering Services for the Enterprise Utilities for the next 5 years.

26. Change Orders for the GTC Improvement Project:
a. No. 3 for an increase of $623.00 for the mechanical contract.
b. No. 3 for a decrease of $36.18 for the electrical contract.
c. No. 3 for an increase of $5,420.00 for the general contract.

27. Resolution of Support MATBUS Transit Authority Study (delayed until 10/19/20).

28. Change Order No. 2 for an increase of $10,475.35 for Project No. WA1862.

29. Change Order No. 2 for an increase of $9,550.00 for Project No. WA1906.

30. Change Order No. 3 for an increase of $47,300.00 for Project No. WA1906.

31. Sole source Procurement with JDP Electric, Inc. in the amount of $95,000.00 for miscellaneous water utility projects (SSP20155).

32. Sole Source Procurement with Electric Pump in the amount of $60,000.00 for parts to repair three sludge pumps (SSP20154).

33. Sole Source Procurement with Trillium Floway in the amount of $647,800.00 for four Red River Pump Station pumps (SSP20156).

34. Contract and Bond for Project No. HD-19-A1.

35. Bills in the amount of $9,402,383.80.

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.

Cost Participation, Construction and Maintenance Agreement with the NDDOT for Improvement District No. BN-21-A1 Approved:
The Board received a Report of Action from the Public Works Projects Evaluation Committee regarding a Cost Participation, Construction and Maintenance Agreement with NDDOT for the construction of new concrete roadway and an overpass over 64th Avenue South. They said the project is set to be bid in Bismarck on November 13, 2020 and scheduled to have a substantial completion date of October 2022.

Commissioner Preston moved the Cost Participation Construction and Maintenance Agreement with the NDDOT for Improvement District No. BN-21-A1 be approved.

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

No Protests Received for Sanitary Sewer, Water Main, Storm Sewer, Paving and Incidentals Improvement District No. BN-20-L1:
The Statutory Resolution of Necessity for the construction of Sanitary Sewer, Water Main, Storm Sewer, Paving and Incidentals Improvement District No. BN-20-L1 in the City of Fargo, North Dakota, was duly published in the official newspaper for the City of Fargo, North Dakota on September 16 and 23, 2020 and no protests have been filed in the office of the City Auditor within the legal protest period.

Commissioner Preston 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-L1.

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

Bids Received for Sanitary Sewer, Water Main, Storm Sewer, Paving and Incidentals Improvement District No. BN-20-L1:
The bids for Sanitary Sewer, Water Main, Storm Sewer, Paving and Incidentals Improvement District No. BN-20-L1 in the City of Fargo, North Dakota were opened at 11:45 o'clock a.m., September 30, 2020 and the bids were found to be as follows:

Dakota Underground Company Fargo, ND
Bid: $6,095,877.39

Northern Improvement Company Fargo, ND
Bid: $7,054,644.03

KPH, Inc. Fargo, ND
Bid: $7,167,959.03

Sellin Brothers, Inc. Hawley, MN
Bid: $7,496,373.00
J.R. Ferche, Inc. Rice, MN
Bid: $7,823,660.10

Contract for Sanitary Sewer, Water Main, Storm Sewer, Paving and Incidentals Improvement District No. BN-20-L1 Awarded to Dakota Underground Company in the Amount of $6,095,877.39:
Commissioner Preston 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-L1; and
WHEREAS, The Board of City Commissioners of the City of Fargo has considered the bids received September 30, 2020 for Sanitary Sewer, Water Main, Storm Sewer, Paving and Incidentals Improvement District No. BN-20-L1 in the City of Fargo, North Dakota; and
WHEREAS, The City Engineer's tabulation of the bids received for Water Main, Storm Sewer, Paving and Incidentals Improvement District No. BN-20-L1 shows the bid of Dakota Underground Company of Fargo, North Dakota, in the sum of $6,095,877.39 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 $6,095,877.39 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-L1 in the City of Fargo, North Dakota, be and the same is hereby awarded to Dakota Underground Company for the sum of $6,095,877.39, 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 Piepkorn. On the vote being taken on the question of the adoption of the Resolution Commissioners Preston, Piepkorn, Strand, Gehrig and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the Resolution was adopted.

Hearing on a Dangerous Building Located at 703 12th Street North: City Attorney's Office Directed to Prepare the Appropriate Findings of Fact and Order:
A Hearing had been set for this day and hour on a dangerous building located at 703 12th Street North.
The Board received a communication from Inspections Director Bruce Taralson submitting a Notice of Dangerous Building Order, detail and timeline regarding 703 12th Street North. He shared a timeline outlining events to this point and said that following a fire at the property in July of 2020 it came to the Inspections Department and now meets seven of the ten criteria of the Dangerous Building Ordinance. He said there has been no indication from the owner that they intend to repair or demolish the structure. He said a Statement of Valuation by the Assessor’s Department attests to the deterioration of the property. The water has been shut off since November 2019 and gas service has not been used since May 2018, he said. Allowing the structure to sit in its current state, which is due to neglect and lack of maintenance, has attracted vagrants, he said, and there have been many issues with the property over time. Due to squatters being in the building that is not habitable, the Inspections Department secured the windows and doors on August 31, 2020. The fire was determined have started in the kitchen, he said, and there was no insurance on the property and according to a Fire Department report, the owner knew a homeless man was staying in the home at the time with no water or heat. He said it is always the intent to allow rehabilitation; however, he does not feel that is possible with this home due to its current condition.

James Pete Sabo said he has owned that house for more than 40 years and the man living in the home did work for him and he was aware he did sleep there at times. He said the shingles are nearly new, the house is solid and the fire was small. He said he has a licensed, bonded contractor to take out a permit and he hopes to work with the City on this and make it a new house again. He said he has kept many houses available for the not-so-rich people.

Andrew Buck said he appreciates the idea of low-income shelter; however, the house does not look suitable for someone to live in. Houses need to be brought to code or taken down, he said, and this is just the latest for Mr. Sabo and he feels action needs to be taken rather than give him more time. He said the impression he gets is that Mr. Sabo buys cheap buildings, does not do repairs on them, rents them out at low rates and then lets them deteriorate.

Commissioner Piepkorn moved the City Attorney’s Office be directed to prepare and serve the owner with the appropriate Findings of Fact and Order and order its removal before November 30, 2020 and the Inspections Department be authorized to solicit proposals for the removal of this structure if it is not removed within the time allowed by the Board’s order.

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

Parcels of Land in Cedar Crest First Addition Rezoned, Planned Unit Development Overlay and Planned Unit Development Master Land Use Plan Approved (3361 Westrac Drive):
At a Hearing held on September 1, 2020 the Fargo Planning Commission recommended approval of a change in zoning from GC, General Commercial to GC, General Commercial with a PUD, Planned Unit Development Overlay within the boundaries of Lot 1, Block 1, Cedar Crest First Addition, and a PUD, Planned Unit Development Master Land Use Plan within the boundaries of Lot 1, Block 1, Cedar Crest First Addition.
The City Auditor's Office published a Notice of Hearing stating this is the time and date set for said Hearing at which time all interested persons could appear and would be heard.

Planning Coordinator Donald Kress said the project is a proposed affordable senior living facility on an undeveloped site currently zoned GC, General Commercial located near a bus stop and bike lane. He said this PUD is different in that it only requests three modifications: to allow household living in a General Commercial zone, a density of 38 units per acre and the parking reduced to a ratio more in tune to senior residents. The Master Land Use Plan is for 120 units and four stories, he said.

Don Sterhan of Mountain Plains Equity Group, sponsor of the project, said the company is based out of Billings, Montana and has done work in North Dakota since 2003. He said the project is financed primarily through low income tax credits allocated through the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency.

Commissioner Strand offered the following Resolution and moved its adoption:
WHEREAS, All legal requirements in connection with the above-described request for a Planned Unit Development have been complied with; and
WHEREAS, The Fargo Planning Commission approved the request on September 1, 2020 with the above-listed conditions; and
WHEREAS, There have been no written or verbal protests to the petition for a Planned Unit Development and no one is present to protest thereto.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the petition be approved with the aforementioned conditions.

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

First Reading of an Ordinance Rezoning Certain Parcels of Land Lying in Cedar Crest First Addition to the City of Fargo, Cass County, North Dakota:
Commissioner Strand 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 Cedar Crest First Addition to the City of Fargo, Cass County, North Dakota be placed on first reading.

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

Parcels of Land in Madelyn’s Meadows Third Addition Rezoned (2613, 2639, 2667, 2689, 2697, 2707, 2729, 2751, 2769, 2791, 2801, 2815, 2827, 2845, 2863, 2875, 2891, 2951 72nd Avenue South, and 7203 and 7231 30th Street South):
At a Hearing held on July 7, 2020 the Fargo Planning Commission recommended approval of a change in zoning from SR-4, Single-Dwelling Residential and P/I, Public and Institutional to SR-4, Single-Dwelling Residential, P/I, Public and Institutional and MR-1, Multi-Dwelling Residential.
The City Auditor's Office published a Notice of Hearing stating this is the time and date set for said Hearing at which time all interested persons could appear and would be heard.

Planning Coordinator Donald Kress said Madelyn’s Meadows Third Addition is a replat of existing lots in Madelyn’s Meadows First and Second Additions and it does not create new lots. He said the lots will be shorter due to 72nd Avenue being widened, a lot made larger to accommodate a retention basin, one lot is changed from P/I to MR-1 and there is a dedication of right-of-way for 73rd Avenue. He said the changes could be approved; however, none will be recorded until final technical details are met. Comments received from neighbors are included in the staff report, he stated.

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

Second by Gehrig. On the vote being taken on the question of the adoption of the Resolution Commissioners Preston, Gehrig, Strand, Piepkorn 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 Madelyn’s Meadows Third Addition to the City of Fargo, Cass County, North Dakota:
Commissioner Preston moved the requirement relating to receipt of the Ordinance by the Commission one week prior to first reading be waived and that the Ordinance Rezoning Certain Parcels of Land Lying in Madelyn’s Meadows Third Addition to the City of Fargo, Cass County, North Dakota be placed on first reading.

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

Resolution Adopted Approving Madelyn’s Meadows Third Addition:
Commissioner Preston offered the following Resolution and moved its adoption:
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF CITY COMMISSIONERS OF THE CITY OF FARGO:
WHEREAS, A Plat has been filed in the office of the City Auditor entitled “Madelyn’s Meadows Third Addition” containing 19 Lots, 1 Block and 7.47 acres of land more or less, located at 2613, 2639, 2667, 2689, 2697, 2707, 2729, 2751, 2769, 2791, 2801, 2815, 2827, 2845, 2863, 2875, 2891, 2951 72nd Avenue South, and 7203 and 7231 30th Street South; and
WHEREAS, A Hearing was held July 8, 2020 by the Fargo Planning Commission, and notice of such Hearing had been published, as required by law, and said Plat had been approved by the Fargo Planning Commission and by the City Engineer; and
WHEREAS, The City Auditor's Office published a Notice of Hearing on said Plat in the official newspaper for the City of Fargo on September 23 and 30, 2020 that a Hearing would be held in the Commission Chambers, City Hall, Fargo, North Dakota at 5:15 p.m., October 5, 2020 at which time said Plat would be considered and all interested persons would be heard.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the findings and recommendations of staff and the Planning Commission be accepted and the Plat entitled “Madelyn’s Meadows Third Addition” be and the same is hereby in all things affirmed and approved on the basis that it complies with the Standards of Article
20-06, and all other applicable requirements of the Land Development Code, and that the Mayor of the City of Fargo and the appropriate City Officials are hereby directed to endorse their approval on the Plat and then direct Petitioner to file same for record in the Office of the Recorder of Cass County, North Dakota.

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

Application Filed by Aldevron for Payment in Lieu of Tax Exemption (PILOT) Approved:
A Hearing had been set for this day and hour on an application filed by Aldevron for payment in lieu of property tax exemption for the remodel project of an existing building at 3001 University Drive South, which includes substantial renovation and improvements for research and development of biotechnologies and manufacturing of therapeutic products.
No written protests have been filed for the attention of the Board.

The Board determined that no person is present at this Hearing to protest or offer objection thereto.
Director of Strategic Planning and Research Jim Gilmour said the PILOT policy is a way to encourage more primary sector jobs in the community and improve the overall economic base. The site is on 32nd Avenue and University Drive South, he said, an existing building with room for expansion to the south. Aldevron has created other primary sector jobs with previous expansions, he said and there will be 51 additional jobs created over 5 years. The company has been doing research on how to address the current COVID-19 pandemic, he said.

Marc Wolff, COO and CFO of Aldevron, said the company has been performing well in recent years due to investments in gene and cell therapies. He said Aldevron is a pioneer in helping clients who engage in that research and bring products to market. He said this project is to accelerate research and development in Fargo and this facility will have 10 times the output of the previous facility.

Mayor Mahoney said the City has been very pleased with the growth of Aldevron and he would love to see it continue to expand.

In response to a question from Commissioner Gehrig asking if the company would go forward with its growth in Fargo if it does not receive an incentive, Mr. Wolff said they are not doing the program for the incentives, it is to provide a benefit for medicine for treatment. He said they have locations outside of Fargo; however, they are happy with the environment here and would like to continue to be here. He said they have other locations and eventually they may be competitive and may service their needs.
Commissioner Strand said he supports Aldevron and it is a shining star in the community. He said not a single new job is less than $15.00 per hour and thanked Mr. Wolff for that. He said a living wage is important if the City is going to support and partner with developers. This brings 44 new jobs between $15.00 and $28.00 per hour and that is what prime sector growth is about, he stated.

Commissioner Piepkorn moved that the application filed by Aldevron for a 10-year payment in lieu of tax exemption pursuant to Chapter 40-57.1, NDCC be approved as follows:
Years 1-5 $0
Year 6 $46,817.00
Year 7 $47,754.00
Year 8 $48,709.00
Year 9 $49,683.00
Year 10 $50,676.00

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.

Hearing on Special Assessment List for Business Improvement District (BID) Fees Continued to October 19, 2020:
A Hearing had been set for this day and hour on a Special Assessment List for Business Improvement District fees; however, staff has requested the Hearing be continued to October 19, 2020.

Commissioner Piepkorn moved the Hearing be continued to 5:15 o’clock p.m. on Monday, October 19, 2020.

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

Special Assessment List for 2019 New Construction of City Ordered Sidewalks Approved (Project No. SN-19-A):
A Hearing had been set for this day and hour on the special assessment list for the 2019 New Construction of City Ordered Sidewalks in the City of Fargo, North Dakota, on which the special assessment list a Hearing had been held by the Special Assessment Commission after which it had been confirmed and filed with the Board of City Commissioners.
No appeals have been filed in writing against any item appearing on such special assessment list and no person is present at the Hearing to appeal or offer any objection there to.

Commissioner Preston moved that the Special Assessment List for 2019 New Construction of City Ordered Sidewalks be approved and confirmed and ordered filed in the office of the City Auditor, that the City Auditor’s Office be instructed to proceed to collect the assessment in the manner provided by law and that the interest rate be set at a rate not exceeding .75% per annum over the net rate on bonds financing said projects.

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

Special Assessment List for 2019 Reconstruction of City Ordered Sidewalks Approved (Project No. SR-19-A):
A Hearing had been set for this day and hour on the special assessment list for the 2019 Reconstruction of City Ordered Sidewalks in the City of Fargo, North Dakota, on which the special assessment list a Hearing had been held by the Special Assessment Commission after which it had been confirmed and filed with the Board of City Commissioners.

No appeals have been filed in writing against any item appearing on such special assessment list and no person is present at the Hearing to appeal or offer any objection there to.

City Auditor Steve Sprague said there are differences in Century Code and that is why the sidewalks and improvement district special assessments are separate items on the agenda.

Commissioner Preston moved that the Special Assessment List for 2019 Reconstruction of City Ordered Sidewalks in the City of Fargo, North Dakota be and the same is hereby approved and confirmed and ordered filed in the office of the City Auditor, that the City Auditor’s Office be instructed to proceed to collect the assessments in the manner provided by law and that the interest rate be set at .75% per annum over the net rate on bonds financing said projects.

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

Special Assessments List for Various Improvement Districts Approved: Special Assessments List for Improvement District No. BN-19-A Referred to Finance Committee:
A Hearing had been set for this day and hour on the special assessments list for the construction of the following Improvement Districts in the City of Fargo, North Dakota, on which special assessment lists Hearings had been held by the Special Assessment Commission on September 2, 2020, after which they had been confirmed and filed with the Board of City Commissioners:

P.C. Concrete Alley Paving and Incidentals Improvement District No. AN-19-G:
Sanitary Sewer, Water Main, Storm Sewer, Paving, Street Lights and Incidentals Improvement District No. BN-17-B.
Sanitary Sewer, Water Main, Storm Sewer, Paving and Incidentals Improvement District No. BN-18-F.
Paving, Water Main, Storm Sewer, Street Lights, Sidewalk and Incidentals Improvement District No. BN-19-A.
Sanitary Sewer, Water Main, Storm Sewer, Paving, Street Lights and Incidentals Improvement District No. BN-19-B.
Sanitary Sewer, Water Main, Storm Sewer, Paving, Street Lights and Incidentals Improvement District No. BN-19-C.
Sanitary Sewer, Water Main, Storm Sewer, Paving, Street Lights and Incidentals Improvement District No. BN-19-E.
Sanitary Sewer, Water Main, Storm Sewer, Paving, Street Lights and Incidentals Improvement District No. BN-19-F.
Sanitary Sewer, Water Main, Storm Sewer, Paving, Street Lights and Incidentals Improvement District No. BN-19-J.
Paving, Sanitary Sewer, Water Main, Storm Sewer, Street Lights and Incidentals Improvement District No. BR-18-A.
Paving, Sanitary Sewer, Water Main, Storm Sewer, Street Lights and Incidentals Improvement District No. BR-18-B.
Water Main Replacement, Street Reconstruction and Incidentals Improvement District No. BR-18-F.
Water Main Replacement, Street Reconstruction and Incidentals Improvement District No. BR-18-G.
Drain Improvements and Incidentals Improvement District No. DN-18-A.
Flood Mitigation and Incidentals Improvement District No. FM-14-84.
Levy and Pond Construction and Incidentals Improvement District No. FM-17-C.
Storm Sewer Lift Station, Retention and Trunk Storm and Incidentals Improvement District No. NN-15-B.
Storm Sewer Lift Station and Retention Pond and Incidentals Improvement District No. NN-17-A.
Storm Sewer Lift Station and Incidentals Improvement District No. NN-18-A.
Broadway Interceptor and Incidentals Improvement District No. NR-17-B.
Storm Sewer Lift Station and Incidentals Improvement District No. NR-18-A.
Concrete Paving, Concrete Curb and Gutter, Asphalt Paving and Incidentals Improvement District No. PN-18-B.
Concrete Paving and Incidentals Improvement District No. PN-18-C.
Seal Coat and Incidentals Improvement District No. PR-19-E.
Mill and Overlay and Incidentals Improvement District No. PR-19-F.
Mill and Overlay and Incidentals Improvement District No. PR-19-G.
Street Lighting and Incidentals Improvement District No. SL-17-B.
Street Lighting and Incidentals Improvement District No. SL-19-B.
Street Lighting and Incidentals Improvement District No. SL-19-E.
Traffic Signal Improvements and Incidentals Improvement District No. TN-19-A.
Sanitary Sewer, Water Main, Storm Sewer and Incidentals Improvement District No. UN-18-C.

City Auditor Steve Sprague said these 31 projects, along with the sidewalk projects, total about $50 million, $31 million of which will be a new bond issue. He said the rest was on an old bond issue, so some projects are recommended to be set at 1% above the bond interest rate due to being within the bond covenants of the old projects and the new ones are recommended to be set at the .75% that was approved by the Special Assessment Taskforce. He said there were some protests related to Improvement District BN-19-A and BR-18-G

Andre Arneson, Intense LLC, owner of 5402 and 5404 53rd Avenue South said he spoke previously with the Special Assessment Commission on Improvement District No. BN-19-A and was denied. His request is to have the property reviewed due to the irregular shaped lot, he said, and he would like a reduction of the footage calculated for special assessments due to the irregular shape.

Special Assessments Coordinator Dan Eberhardt said the property was reviewed after the Hearing. He said a 35-foot setback is used, which results in a reduction, the initial frontage was over 700 feet and with the reduction it is about 685 feet. He said the benefit is used, not the dollars, and the Committee thought that the calculation was good and verified the findings on what should be charged. He said the whole lot, although irregular, is usable space and the full lot is being used, with the east corner being occupied by a large sign.

In response to a question from Commissioner Strand about whether the lot is developable, Mr. Arneson said many of the area lots utilized for the assessment have a 100-foot setback. He said he would like the reduction based on use of the property. He said eventually he would like to do light retail there; however, that east corner narrows in and limits the size building he could put there.

In response to a question from Commissioner Strand asking whether there could be a deferral on this land such as agricultural land that is not presently developable, Mr. Eberhardt said this land is developable at this point and a deferral would not be available.

In response to a question from Commissioner Preston asking the definition of irregular lots, Mr. Eberhardt said an irregular lot refers to shape, not the development. The first thing prescribed is benefit, he said, and the setback reduction taken is due to shape. The benefit exists in that it can be supplied with water, sanitary service, drainage and provided with roadway access.

Mr. Arneson said his assessment is based on $313.00 x 685 feet. He said the 35-foot setback reduction is for every lot assessed and not specific for his irregular lot.

Mr. Eberhardt said Mr. Arneson’s assessment is $227,079.00 and the whole lot is assessed in a commercial setting.

Mayor Mahoney asked the public to remember that if a reduction is given, then tax dollars make up the difference. He said Mr. Eberhardt is asked to apply all the rules equally in all cases.

Commissioner Strand said his sense is that if the eastern edge of the triangle could be deferred until developed, then those developing it would properly pay taxes.

Mr. Eberhardt said typically a deferral would be run through the Finance Committee then approved by the Board. He said in this case it is developable to the point where there is a sign placed on the parcel, it can and has gone to a higher use.

Commissioner Piepkorn moved that the special assessments list for the construction of the above listed Improvement Districts be and the same are hereby approved and confirmed and ordered filed in the office of the City Auditor, that the City Auditor's Office be instructed to proceed to collect the assessments in the manner provided by law and that the interest rate be set at 1% per annum over the net rate on bonds for projects funded by prior bond issues and that the interest rate be set at .75% per annum over the net rate on bonds for the projects funded with the 2020 Refunding Improvement Bond issue.
Second by Preston.

Commissioner Strand moved to amend the motion on the Special Assessments List for Paving, Water Main, Storm Sewer, Street Lights, Sidewalk and Incidentals Improvement District No. BN-19-A to refer it the Finance Committee to consider options.

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

On call of the original motion as amended Commissioners Piepkorn, Preston, Strand and Mahoney voted aye.
Commissioner Gehrig voted nay.
The motion was declared carried.

At 6:12 p.m. the Board took a five-minute recess.
After recess: All Commissioners present. Mayor Mahoney presiding.

76th Avenue South Corridor Study Tabled for Two Weeks:
Commissioner Piepkorn moved the 76th Avenue South Corridor Study be tabled for two weeks.
Second by Gehrig. On call of the roll Commissioners Piepkorn, Gehrig, Strand, Preston and Mahoney voted aye.
No Commissioner being absent and none voting nay, the motion was declared carried.

Resolution Directing the Issuance of Taxable Refunding Improvement Refunding Bonds, Series 2020C, Prescribing the Terms and Covenants Thereof, and Creating a Fund for the Payment Thereof, and Resolution Directing the Issuance of $29,565,000.00 Refunding Improvement Bonds, Series 2020B and Prescribing the Terms and Covenants Therefor; and Resolution Selling, Establishing Terms and Directing Issuance of Definitive Improvement Warrants on the Funds of Certain Improvement Districts, and Providing for and Appropriating Special Assessments for the Support and Maintenance of Said Funds Adopted:
Director of Finance Kent Costin said the City routinely issues bonds for infrastructure and the market was accessed today for a new money issue to fund the assessment projects just levied and the monetary amount of that bond issue was $27.9 million, and for a $91 million refinancing of some existing debt, four issues were consolidated into one for interest rate savings. He said there were very positive ratings and Fargo continues to get good reviews from Moody’s when they do the credit rating reports.

erri Heaton of Baker Tilly (via conference call), said it was a good day in the market on behalf of the City. She said the new money issue was a competitive sale held today on behalf of the City and the amount of the bonds was $29,565,000.00. She said there were six bidders representing 41 financial institutions. A month ago the interest rate was predicted to be 2.07%, she said, and today the interest rate for the 25-year bond is 1.88%, a very low rate. She said based on this rate, with the City’s formula of adding .75%, the assessment rate is 2.63%. She said the second refunding issue involves the opportunity to reduce outstanding debt interest rates and four issues came to a bond issue of $93,305,000.00 with the bid coming in at 1.82%. When the proposal was put together to refinance these bonds, it was estimated to save $13.7 million over 15 years, she said; however, since the interest rates came in lower, the actual savings is $15.5 million if the rate is accepted. Fargo is attractive for its AA1 credit rating, a stable outlook and growing sales taxes, she said. The low bid is recommended for both bond sales, she stated.

Commissioner Piepkorn said while it is not the case for the majority of the country, the City of Fargo is fortunate to be doing well.

Mr. Costin said one of the things he heard during a recent call with rating analysts last week was that they typically see a degradation of sales tax due to the COVID environment; however, in Fargo’s case there is a 4.8% increase.

Commissioner Piepkorn moved the Resolutions titled: “Resolution Directing the Issuance of Taxable Refunding Improvement Refunding Bonds, Series 2020C, Prescribing the Terms and Covenants Thereof;” “Resolution Directing the Issuance of $29,565,000.00 Refunding Improvement Bonds, Series 2020B and Prescribing the Terms and Covenants Therefor;” and “Resolution Selling, Establishing Terms and Directing Issuance of Definitive Improvement Warrants on the Funds of Certain Improvement Districts and Providing for and Appropriating Special Assessments for the Support and Maintenance of Said Funds” and referred to as Attachments “C,” “D” and “E” be adopted and attached hereto.

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

Appropriate Staff Directed to Prepare a Renewal Plan and Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District for the Area in the Downtown Adjacent to the Red River:
Director of Strategic Planning Jim Gilmour said the Finance Committee is recommending the creation of a Tax Increment Financing District to pay public costs to implement adopted Downtown plans in the area adjacent to the river. He said the general boundary for this TIF District, he said, would be the Great Northern Railroad line to the north, 4th Street to the west, 6th Avenue to the south and the Red River to the east. He said it would be from the railroad tracks on the north, 6th Avenue on the south, Red River on the east and approximately 4th Street on the west. The reason for the district would be to stimulate growth in the area and increase property tax revenue. Possible uses, he said, could include demolition or repurposing of the Lashkowitz High Rise and housing replacement, the Mid-America Steel Site demolition, a Performing Arts Center, the Civic Center Plaza, Skyway connection to City Hall, Civic Center Parking Ramp Addition and a pedestrian bridge over 2nd Street. Conditions within the area include blighted buildings such as the Mid-America site, vacant buildings and land, surface parking, public spaces and industrial uses, he stated, and there are many opportunities for redevelopment; however, public improvements are needed to encourage private sector redevelopment. He said to move forward he would like to have an informal meeting with the Board because there are a multitude of ways TIF money could be spent in the area that may or may not create additional development. He said he would like to focus in on what the Board sees as important in the near term, as well as what should be included long-term that could be addressed later. He said he would anticipate spending two to three months developing a plan, researching the conditions, looking at potential growth and what activities would spur additional property tax development within the area. He said the plan will draw from the Riverfront Plan from the past, the InFocus Plan and GO2030 and will focus on implementation of those rather than a new Downtown Plan.

In response to a question from Commissioner Gehrig asking what the other taxing authorities think of this, Mr. Gilmour said the County, the School District and Park District would be notified as required within the Century Code.

Commissioner Gehrig said the reason he asks is that if the City does this, the money comes out of the pockets of the county, parks and schools and goes to the City.

In response to a question from Commissioner Piepkorn asking whether this area is in an Opportunity Zone, Mr. Gilmour said it is and there will be a lot resources needed to encourage development in this area. He said the way a TIF works is that the property tax base for the Schools, County, Park District and Airport Authority stays the same based on the mill levies they levy each year, it is the growth that would go to the City as TIF revenue and the growth would mean more money for them in the
long-term than if nothing is done.

In response to a question from Commissioner Preston asking for a description of Opportunity Zones, Mr. Gilmour said it is a federal program that provides tax incentives to individuals for development in this area. He said some projects Downtown that have Opportunity Zone funds are the Mercantile, Kesler and Gateway projects.

Commissioner Gehrig said this is some of the most valuable land in North Dakota and a TIF is not needed to develop it. He said a TIF Downtown has gone on for 40 years and this is a bad idea and a bad system.

Mr. Gilmour said there was a TIF that went 40 years and did end this year, now the Legislature limits TIFs to 25 years.

Mayor Mahoney said a TIF would be used for public good such as a plaza, a bridge across 2nd Avenue and taxes would not have to be raised to do those projects.

Commissioner Preston said while most may be public projects, they will bring value to surrounding properties and ultimately the School District and others will benefit.

Commissioner Strand said he agrees that this is prime property and this is not the final plan. He said this is about Fargo’s Downtown, its footprint and future. He said he would like the thinking to be big, roll in the 2030 Plan, the Downtown Plan and the feedback and engagement that took place. He said he encourages the study to include looking at Winnipeg and the Sioux Falls riverfront, how it blends with Moorhead and Minnesota. He said he would ask that the City’s property there not be sold until the bigger plan is known. He said he does not always support TIFs and if he does, he wants it be for the greater good and a better future.

Commissioner Gehrig said this is using tax dollars to clear the area of Mid-America Steel for a big developer to come in and not pay the cost of that development.

Commissioner Piepkorn moved that appropriate staff be directed to prepare a Renewal Plan and Tax Increment Financing District for the area in the Downtown adjacent to the Red River.

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.

Proposed Ordinances Related to Face Coverings and Social Distancing to Reduce the Risk of Transmission of COVID-19 Virus With or Without Penalties Declared Lost for a Lack of a Majority:
Mayor Mahoney said at the last meeting, Commissioner Stand requested two different Ordinances be drafted to receive and file. He said there will not be any passage of a mask mandate at this time, it would be to receive and file an Ordinance to use if needed. He reminded the public of the Mask Directive for the City of Fargo that was passed on August 17th. He shared the proposed mask mandates drafted by the City Attorney, one with a penalty and one without.

Commissioner Strand said it takes all of the community to evolve a way forward for the greater good and also for the protection of individual rights. He said initially, when the mask discussion began in July, the directive was proposed to ask the public to participate and come together in these uncertain times. He said that directive expires November 9th. He said many think the vote is for a mask mandate tonight; however, he said, if this goes forward it is to have the tool available a month from now, if needed. There is no implementation now, or until then, he stated. If the rates continue to increase, he said, in his opinion it is best to have the tools available. He said given the feedback he received, he would include penalties and he would like a sunset clause.

Commissioner Strand moved to Receive and File an Ordinance with Penalties, Enacting Article 10-13 of Chapter 10 of the Fargo Municipal Code Relating to Face Coverings and Social Distancing to Reduce Risk of Transmission of COVID-19 Virus and to place the proposed Ordinance on the October 19, 2020 agenda for First Reading.
Second by Preston.

Commissioner Preston said she is adamant about the need for this and the urgency. She said the number of positive cases in the community is the highest ever and the positivity rate is a concern as the cold weather and flu season are coming and hospital beds are filling up. She said it is getting concerning with a higher number of hospital admissions and deaths across the State from this virus. She said there is controversy about the effectiveness of masks; however, there is a lot of support locally that masks provide protection for the wearer and individuals around the person. She said the chairs in the Commission Chambers are not six feet apart and some are not wearing masks and she has heard from individuals concerned about coming to these meetings. She said she would go forward with the penalty clause, similar to a traffic citation, allowing a penalty for when a business indicates a mask requirement and a person does not follow it and can be arrested for disorderly conduct.

Commissioner Piepkorn said the virus goes through a mask and mandating something that does not work makes no sense. He said as far as being seated six feet apart, it is personal liberty. If one does not want to sit next to someone they do not have to, they can go somewhere else or watch it on TV or the internet.

Commissioner Gehrig said both sides have facts and numbers. He said assuming a mandate requiring masks in public, if there is no penalty it does nothing more than what is being done now. If there are penalties, he said, there will be real, unintended consequences. He said enforcement must be considered because Police contact with civilians will increase and some interactions will be violent and he does not want to tell our Police force to do that. He said if someone is fined and cannot pay, otherwise lawful people could be put in jail due to not wearing a piece of cloth on their face. He said it will be used as a way to get people in trouble, create distrust between residents and police and impact resident to resident interactions. It is a good faith attempt to lower COVID cases; however, it will create very real problems.

Commissioner Preston said the video shared by Dr. Carson at the recent news conference is a good example of how masks do work and how certain masks are better than others. She said as far as enforcement, it would be helpful to find out from other cities and states that have implemented it. Colorado saw a 25-30% increase in mask usage with a mandate, she said, and reported few problems. She said it is more the threat of enforcement that will get people to take it more seriously.

Commissioner Strand said public health and public safety are big parts of city governance and he would ask that the public give the Board room to try to move forward and do what is needed to do for safety if the pandemic does not turn around and improve. He asked the Commissioners to listen to experts and honor them. He would be interested to know how infractions could be handled easily, he said.

In response to a question from Commissioner Gehrig about his thoughts on enforcement, Police Chief David Zibolsky said there is no good answer; everyone’s concerns are legitimate. He said it does put the Police Department in a very precarious position and from experience with his previous employer, it can create hostility with business owners who feel targeted. He said unless egregious, the approach is to educate and advise. He said he is concerned with calls for service; however, does not have a definitive answer and will do his best to work together to figure things out.

Mayor Mahoney said this is a difficult and emotional question, there is passion on both sides. He said when emotions are mixed with decisions sometimes judgements change a bit. He said a Transit worker was attacked after asking someone to wear a mask, and the police had to be called in another case when a security guard was attacked when he asked someone to wear a mask. The emails received prove this is an emotional issue, he said, and he does not want penalties if they will not be enforced; he would go with education. He said the numbers are going up, Fargo has the COVID virus and has to figure out how to manage it. He said the President thought he was bold enough that he would not catch it, but he caught it, along with many on his staff. It is communicable and has spread, he said, and while going into fall the hope was numbers would be down to 2%; however, it is now 6% to 8%. He said there is focused testing in an attempt to knock the number down. He said he understood this was on the agenda to Receive and File for action to wait until it was needed; however, the current motion is to put it into action in November and if he waits until then to figure it out he will have numerous emails daily for four weeks. He said if there is not social distancing, wearing a mask when close or hand washing, individuals will catch it. This is easily spreadable, he said, and he will favor the side of education and asking the people in the community to stand up. He said the community responded when 7 million sandbags were needed to fight a flood; however, the City is having a difficult time fighting a virus. He would rather do things to unite, not pull apart, he said, and has concerns that a mandate will create some civil unrest.

Commissioner Preston said the penalties could be pulled out at any time if desired. She said it would be good to do research with other states and cities, as well as visit with the Police Department and Health Department about enforcement. She said an Ordinance could go through first reading, then the second recording delayed so action could be taken now.

City Attorney Erik Johnson said the multi-step process could be stopped at any point along the way; however, a practical issue would be if it is stopped and time is not set in advance when it would come back, there may be another wasted meeting of inactivity. It would need to be inserted in a motion how it would come back if it is received and filed, he said, otherwise it is in effect a tabling.

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

Commissioner Strand said he would like to keep this available as a tool in the war chest if it is needed. He said if the Ordinance does not get Received and Filed, action would be many weeks away.

Commissioner Piepkorn said this will go on and on and Commissioners will continue to get tons of emails and messages, which is not a good thing either.

Commissioner Preston said from what she understands it, the penalty clause is the issue and perhaps pulling that out would be the better option.

Commissioner Strand moved to Receive and File the Ordinance with penalties, an Ordinance Enacting Article 10-13 of Chapter 10 of the Fargo Municipal Code Relating to Face Coverings and Social Distancing to Reduce the Risk of Transmission of COVID-19 Virus, absent the requirement that it be placed on the next agenda for First Reading.

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

Commissioner Preston moved to Receive and File Ordinances Enacting Article 10-13 of Chapter 10 of the Fargo Municipal Code Relating to Face Coverings and Social Distancing to Reduce the Risk of Transmission of CIVID-19 Virus, With and Without Penalties and the Ordinances be placed on the October 19, 2020 agenda for a decision on which Ordinance to advance.

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

Applications for Property Tax Exemptions for Improvements Made to Buildings Approved:
a. Harry A. Ohrt RLT, 2812 27th Street South (3 year).
b. Muriel and Joseph Richardson, 2816 27th Street South (3 year).
c. Kamie Beeson, 1625 29th Avenue South (3 year).
d. Curtis and Peggy Christopherson, 3114 Bohnet Boulevard North (5 year).

Commissioner Piepkorn moved the applications be approved.

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

Flood Project and Acquisition Updates:
Division Engineer Nathan Boerboom said 254 properties have been purchased at a cost of $105 million since 2009, approximately 90 private property easements have been purchased and 22 miles of levees and floodwalls have been constructed. He said 9 complete property acquisitions and 30 levee easements remain. He outlined remaining projects in the following areas: 40th Avenue North and the Airport, Riverwood area, Royal Oaks Drive, Woodcrest, Elm Circle, Belmont, Harwood, Hackberry and River Drives. There are three remaining acquisitions, he said, on Harwood, Hackberry and River Drives that are in negotiations that may need to go forward with the legal action as approved in 2017 if negotiations are not successful. Also, he said, there are 19 storm sewer lift stations planned for reconstruction or improvements and once through the 2021 construction season, which is heavy on floodwalls and levees, a minimum of three are planned to be completed each construction season. The 75 storm sewer lift stations in town are a critical component in flood fighting, he said, any time the river or legal drains are high those gates have to be closed and water pumped into the river.
Commissioner Piepkorn said he would like the list of the remaining nine acquisitions be shared with the Board. He said the eminent domain should be the last option and perhaps it would help if a Commissioner were to contact those property owners.
In response to a question from Commissioner Preston about funding, Mr. Boerboom said the Diversion Authority has an overall financial plan for the entire project, including the diversion channel and the in-town projects. The projects in town are part of that, which includes sales tax dollars and grant funding from the State of North Dakota.
In response to a question from Commissioner Strand about the progress with the Stern property, Mr. Boerboom said available options are still being looked at.

Appropriate Staff Directed to Complete the Final Design on the Recommended Alignment and Complete the Necessary Improvements and Property Acquisitions for Project No. FM-19-F:
Division Engineer Nathan Boerboom said the City has been working with affected property owners, including Oak Grove Lutheran School and the Fargo Park District, to finalize the flood mitigation project within the Oak Grove Neighborhood. In 2018 when Plan B was being developed by the Diversion Authority, a conceptual plan was drafted for the neighborhood to eliminate the need for emergency levees during a 37-foot flood, which is what will now pass through the City during a 100-year flood event. He said work was done with the Park District, Oak Grove Schools and a remaining property owner on alternative concepts for a floodwall and additional soil data helped determine a plan.

Mike Love, Houston Engineering (via conference call), said based on geotechnical information, an option was found to save a house and go around it, although there were some tree impacts. He showed the recommended project alignment and components around the school and on Park District property and said now the revised plan, which consists of so much more lineal feet of protection, is $9,100,000.00. He said the original construction estimate was $1.1 million.

In response to a question from Commissioner Gehrig asking the value of Oak Grove School and what is being protected for $9 million, Mr. Boerboom said he did not have that information in front of him.
Commissioner Gehrig said home buyouts undergo analysis on cost of protection or whether to buy the home or build a cheaper wall, or concrete behind them. He said it seems with this, $9.1 million is just being thrown at it. He would like to know the value of Oak Grove before approving massive changes to the value of a floodwall.

Mayor Mahoney said Oak Grove was willing to have noncertified flood protection in 2018 and the Board has said they are not moving the school. Initially it was thought certifiable protection was not possible, he said, and now geotechnical information allows it, which is the reason the price increased so much.

Commissioner Piepkorn moved appropriate staff be directed to complete the final design on the recommended alignment and complete the necessary improvements and property acquisitions for Project No. FM-19-F, as presented.

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.

Resident Comments:
Chris Larson (via conference call), Bridget Ertelt, Glenn Knudson, Desiree Morton, Wess Philome, Gretchen Hoffman, Clara Derby, Ashley Aus, Loretta Smith, Carrie Anne Platt, Lori Prokop, Karen Bakke and Beth Sanford shared their views on the COVID-19 virus, masking and mandates, police trust, climate change and mental health.

Commissioner Gehrig moved that the Board adjourn to 5:00 o’clock p.m., Monday, October 19, 2020.
Second by Piepkorn. All the Commissioners voted aye and the motion was declared carried.
The time at adjournment was 8:01 o’clock p.m.