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Fargo City Commission Meeting Wrap-Up - 06.10.2024

In case you missed the June 10, 2024, Fargo City Commission meeting, here are a few highlights we would like you to know about.

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Public health director

City Commission Appoints New Director of Fargo Cass Public Health

The City of Fargo conducted a national search for prospective candidates for the Director of Fargo Cass Public Health (FCPH) position. There were 26 applicants, and after conducting interviews, the selection committee determined that Jennfier Faul is the top candidate for the job. The City Commission voted 5-0 to approve her appointment on Monday.

Jennifer Faul holds a master's degree in social work and is a doctoral degree candidate in education and institutional analysis. She has more than 15 years of health care leadership experience.

She will start as director on June 17, 2024. This will provide a three-week overlap with FCPH's current director, Desi Fleming, to ensure a seamless leadership transition.

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City Commission Seeks Recommendations on Managing Encampments Along the Red River

Encampments on public property and along the Red River have recently increased and expanded. They have become more visible over the past few months, especially with the river flooding levels.

Over the last year, City of Fargo employees have been meeting, along with Fargo Park District staff, to discuss encampments and how to manage the issue consistently and collaboratively. To understand all related issues, as well as current realities and impacts to City of Fargo departments, Commissioner Denise Kolpack made a motion Monday night recommending the City Commission direct Assistant City Administrator Brenda Derrig to compile a summary of policy recommendations for encampments on public property consistent with a Housing First philosophy.

“Additionally, if from those recommendations it is identified that any city ordinances need to be updated or created, I would instruct collaboration with our City Attorney to produce any ordinance changes as part of the overall recommendations to the Commission for consideration and adoption,” Commissioner Kolpack stated in her recommendation.

The City Commission voted 5-0 to approve the recommendation. Assistant City Administrator Derrig was asked to report back to the Commission in two weeks with a summary of policy and ordinance recommendations.

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Speed Limit Reduced on 52nd Avenue South from I-29 to Sheyenne River

The City Commission voted Monday night to decrease the speed limit on a stretch of 52nd Avenue South, a busy arterial road that runs across south Fargo.

As a result of the Commission’s 4-1 vote, the speed limit on 52nd Avenue South from Interstate 29 to the Sheyenne River will be reduced from 45 mph to 40 mph. The target date for the speed limit change is Monday, June 17, 2024.

The change comes after Fargo’s Engineering Department received feedback from a concerned citizen and business owner along 52nd Avenue South asking why there’s a 35-mph zone to the east and a 45-mph zone to the west.

In recommending the speed limit change to the City Commission, Transportation Division Engineer Jeremy Gorden cited two reasons: “Now that the area is filling in with development and more people are using the corridor, the lower speed on the corridor is a step in a safer direction. The other reason is to create some consistency on our arterial roadways in this area. If we make this change, we'll have two speeds on arterials: either 35 mph or 40 mph.”

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The City of Fargo Receives Grant to Offset Costs of 2023 Ice Storm

In late December 2023, freezing rain and winds in excess of 40 mph combined to destroy more than 2,000 power poles and forced the closure of major highways and other roads due to life-threatening conditions across the state of North Dakota.
Locally, ice buildup on trees caused falling branches that impacted travel and utilities. The City of Fargo was responsible for cleaning up significant debris after the storm.

As a result, The City of Fargo incurred costs of $188,669. A grant through the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services will cover 85% of those costs ($160,369) and the City of Fargo’s share is $28,300.

On Monday night, the City Commission unanimously voted to accept the grant.

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Contract Renewed for Chemical and Electronics Recycling

Residents can drop off electronics and harmful chemicals free of charge at the Solid Waste Department’s Household Hazardous Waste Facility. To provide this service, The City of Fargo has an electronics recycling contract with Recycle Technologies LLC and a chemical recycling contract with Clean Harbors LLC.

Each contract is for three years with an option to extend the contract for an additional three years if both parties agree. On Monday, the City Commission unanimously approved this extension until May 31, 2027.

The Household Hazardous Waste Facility, located at 606 43 1/2 St. N., is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Wednesday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. It’s also open the second Saturday of each month 8 a.m. to noon. For more details, visit Household Hazardous Waste.