Fargo City Commission Meeting Wrap-Up - 09.07.21
In case you missed the September 7, 2021 Fargo City Commission meeting, here are a few highlights we would like you to know about.
Fargo City Commission Approves Ice Slicer for Improved Winter Ice Clearance
The Fargo City Commission approved the recommended motion of Fargo Public Works to authorize the purchase of a product called Ice Slicer from EnviroTech Services at a cost of $185.00 per ton for the 2021/22 winter.
Ice Slicer is effective in colder temperatures providing melting capacity down to -5 degrees. It has greater melting capacity, is less corrosive and is environmentally safer than salt. Public Works has used the product in operations for several years and is very satisfied with the performance. The melting capabilities at lower temperatures is effective with the typical storm conditions experienced in Fargo.
Update on Body Worn Cameras at the Fargo Police Department
The Fargo Police Department provided an update on the police body worn cameras.
Features of the cameras include clarity in low-light conditions and automatic triggering mechanisms. When a taser or firearm is drawn, a signal turns on the body-worn camera to ensure interactions are recorded.
The police department is drafting policies to ensure the body worn cameras are used appropriately and effectively.
Fargo City Commission Approves the Sale of Downtown Property for Redevelopment
The Fargo City Commission adopted a resolution to authorize the sale of the old Public Health building located at 401 3rd Avenue N.
The Riverfront Renewal Plan encourages additional private development within the area of the site, which has been vacant for a year. Part of the plan was to sell the old Public Health building at 401 3rd Avenue N. for redevelopment or to encourage development at an adjacent site.
There will be a 60-day period for developers to respond to a request for proposals (RFP) to purchase the site. It is possible this site could be reused or demolished for redevelopment. The property is located within the Tax Increment Financing district. At least one development group is interested in the site.
The RFP would include criteria which aligns with development goals of the City, including purchase price, quality of development design and more.
The Fargo City Commission Approves Economic Impact Study on Economic Development Incentives
The Fargo City Commission approved the unanimous recommendation of the Finance Committee to approve the TischlerBise Economic Impact Study and Model Development scope of work.
At the City's request, TischlerBise will prepare a White Paper on Economic Development Incentives. This will be a comparative analysis of The City of Fargo's economic development incentives and how these compare to other cities, with an emphasis on Midwest cities. TischlerBise will also develop and implement an Economic Impact Model to evaluate the performance of Fargo's tax incentives and provide a training session for City staff on the functionality and features of the model.
The City will use these studies to guide the Tax Exempt Review Committee's policy work. Additionally, other City studies like the Core Neighborhood Master Plan, Growth Plan Update and the Regional Housing Study (in progress) will be provided to TischlerBise for review and integration into their analysis.
Director of Fargo Cass Public Health, Desi Fleming, and Health Officer, Dr. Tracie Newman, provided an update on COVID-19 cases and trends in our region. Major updates from their presentation include:
• As of September 7, 2021, there are 533 active positive cases of COVID-19 with a 10.20% positivity rate.
• In North Dakota, 0.683% of cases are of fully vaccinated individuals.
• The highest age range of active positives are 20-29, followed by 30-39.
• U.S. children accounted for 22.4% of weekly Coronavirus infections by the end of August.
• The ND pediatric 7-day case rate increased 7-fold in August.
• As of September 7: there are 736 active cases in ND children, up from 521 the week before. This accounts for 28.4% of the 2,590 active cases in the state.
• Since the rise of the Delta variant, hospitalizations among ages 0-4 has increased 10x.
• Hospitalizations among unvaccinated adolescents are 10x higher than fully vaccinated.
• Newman stated the region may be approaching its peak in cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19, but it may be too early to say with certainty.