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The Mayor's Message


The Mayor's Message - 01.14.2019

Fire Department Chief Steve Dirksen has been selected to serve as vice chairman for the Commission for Fire Accreditation International by the International Association of Fire Chiefs.

Beginning January 15th, an art class will be offered to current and former guests of the Gladys Ray Shelter. The program will offer a variety of art projects as a therapeutic opportunity for those who are experiencing homelessness, with the goal of working to build social equity. The Gladys Ray Shelter and Creative Plains Foundation have teamed up with Presentation Partners and the Fargo Police Department to offer this unique opportunity once a month through April. A meal during each session will be offered.

Fargo Cass Public Health reminds the public that flu shots are still available. The Fargo Cass Public Health immunization program offers flu shots for people age 6 months and older.

The City issued building permits worth $515 million in 2018, up 8 percent from 2017. Commercial construction was at $226 million, with the largest three projects Block 9, Border States Electric headquarters and the Dillard building on Roberts Street. There were more than 1,200 new housing units permitted, including 914 multi-family units, 278 single-family units and 35 attached housing units. There was $50 million worth of public projects including the wastewater treatment plant, Sudro Hall at NDSU and Deer Creek Elementary School.

The Fargo Public Library circulated 1,026,953 print and digital items in 2018, which breaks the previous record of 1,004,966 items in 2015. In addition to the record number of items checked out in 2018, the library also set a record for attendance at library programs and events last year at 27,607.

With the growth of the City, it has been a challenge for the Police Department to deal with repeat criminal offenders due to short incarceration times. The Police Department has done a remarkable job holding down crime rates and utilizing intelligence-led policing to identify and go after the people who are driving the crime rate. The Police Department’s efforts are becoming a model other police departments are interested in and emulating. Chief Todd said his department is on the right track and he will continue to lead and grow these efforts.

MATBUS provided 2,014,738 passengers rides in 2018, an increase of 6 percent from 2017. There was also a 20 percent reduction in mechanical missed trips and a 1.14 percent fixed route and 51.02 percent paratransit reduction in call queue times. Another interesting statistic from MATBUS in 2018 was social media, website, rider alert and MATBUS app usage increased more than 68 percent. has released its list of the 10 Best Places to Move to Get a Fresh Start in 2019. From starting a new business to getting active to jumpstarting a creative career, Fargo was named the No. 5 Best Place to Start your Own Business due to its culture of growth, affordable cost of living and a thriving startup scene.

Construction crews at the Block 9 project are beginning to ramp up the start of above-grade concrete pours on the tower and precast assembly in the parking ramp. Current construction crew numbers are at 75 and expected to be near 90 within the next few weeks. The tower is expected to have its structure at full height (235 feet) by late fall this year and the ramp precast structure will be fully assembled by late spring and ready to park cars in late summer.

I’d like to welcome Derek Fletcher to the City of Fargo. Derek is the new Creative Services Producer and will be working to create impactful videos on behalf of all City departments. You’ll also see him assisting Brian in operating the various pieces of technology in the Commission Chambers and recording some of our various meetings. He’ll be a busy guy. Commissioners, I'd suggest you get to know him; he'll make you look your best. Welcome, Derek!