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The Mayor's Message


Mayor's Message - 01.28.2020

Last week, ten Fargo firefighters participated in a peer support training program. Those completing the training now have the knowledge and skills to provide support to their peers, have a basic understanding of common behavioral health issues affecting the fire service, can serve as a bridge to community resources or behavioral health treatment when indicated, and are able to build or enhance peer support programs.

With the recent high snowfalls and strong winds, many fire hydrants in the City are buried. It is important that firefighters are able to quickly access hydrants in order to limit the spread of fire. At two recent fires, the department used hydrants in their efforts to extinguish fires and those hydrants were readily accessible because homeowners and businesses took an extra few minutes to clear the snow around them. The Fire Departments asks residents and businesses to clear hydrants near their homes and businesses and provide full access to the side of the hydrant that is closest to the street.

The fire last week at Elim Rehab and Care Center brought many entities together. No residents or staff were injured in the incident and that was due to the work of Elim staff, Fargo Emergency Management and Fargo Cass Public Health Emergency Management. These groups work together on a regular basis to review and exercise emergency plans. When Elim staff was made aware of the emergency, they put their plan into action and within 15 minutes all 111 residents, 33 children in the childcare center and all staff were evacuated to safe areas. This allowed fire crews to turn their efforts to suppressing the fire. The Fire Department reminds everyone in the community to develop personal and emergency plans and for those who would like assistance in developing plans, contact the Fire Department for more information.

In early January, the North Dakota Department of Health reported a sharp increase in influenza activity across the state and issued a reminder to residents that it is not too late to get a flu shot. Fargo Cass Public Health has flu vaccine available for residents age 6 months and older.

Permits are required for most types of construction projects including building, mechanical, plumbing and electrical work. There are exceptions for some building work such as when the work includes only cabinetry, fixtures, wall finishes and sheds or decks not exceeding 120 square feet. If any work requires a permit, all work must be included on the permit even if it is on the exempt list. All gypsum and framing work requires a permit and even though a permit may not be required, is required that all work complies with codes and ordinances.

All types of construction or earth moving work in the flood plain requires a review and a permit. There are zones in the Land Development Code that run along the rivers and drains. The three zones generally do not allow any work or disturbance, but there are a few exceptions.

The Fargo Public has several interesting programs happening in the next two weeks, including: a Monster Jam Storytime event Jan. 30 at 4 p.m. at the Main Library which features one of the Monster Jam drivers; a Winter Wonderland Workshop for kids and families Feb. 1 at 10 a.m. at the Main Library where members of Nature of the North will be teach children about winter camping and winter survival skills; a series of films in February titled “Afternoons with Austen” will feature Jane Austen novels as films and the first film is “Sense and Sensibility” on Feb. 2 at 2 p.m.

The Fargo Housing Authority has submitted an application to HUD to dispose of the Lashkowitz High Rise and a response is expected in about 60 days. After approval of the disposal, FHA will apply for housing vouchers and then assist with the relocation of High Rise tenants to other housing. There are 247 units in the High Rise and it is estimated that relocation efforts will take about 18 months.