Today was the City’s first day of “Reopening Fargo, Phase One” and I am very pleased with Day One of the reboot of City buildings. Some of the initiatives include frequent disinfection of surfaces, utilization of virtual and telephone interactions and staff is engaging in individual symptom assessments before coming to work. Other parts of Phase One are the deferment of all fees related to late payments on City utilities, no utility shut-offs due to lack of payment and fare free MATBUS service, all through June 30. Here at City Hall, access is controlled via a video and electronic entry system and physical distancing standards apply. Our staff worked hard to make the preparations necessary to allow us to open today.
Everyone knows North Dakota has two seasons: winter and road construction. Winter is over and the road construction season has begun. Contractors on Main Avenue are making great progress and will be moving into the next phase later this week. On May 7th, the contractor will be closing Main Avenue to motorists from Broadway to 8th Street. Pedestrian access will be maintained along the entire corridor and businesses are open. Work started today on 64th Avenue South, where the City is urbanizing a rural two-lane gravel roadway to a concrete three-lane roadway. Work also started on 10th Street from 19th to 28th Avenue North, where the City is replacing the water main and roadway. Work will start next week on two more water main replacement and street reconstruction projects, one on 3rd Avenue North between 10th Street and University Drive and the other on 25th Avenue South near 17th Street South. The public can stay updated on all construction projects and road closures by visiting FargoStreets.com.
Last week, the Fire and Engineering Departments teamed up to perform surveillance of drains that run through the City. Two firefighters flew drones over areas with various drains that are difficult to reach. This marks the second year of collaboration between the two departments to inspect critical infrastructure in place for flood protection.
May is Building Safety Month, an international celebration of all aspects of building safety that helps families, employers and leaders understand the best practices that keep buildings safe.
The Fargo Public Library is now offering no-contact curbside pickup services at all three locations. Library patrons can visit FargoLibrary.org and log in using their Fargo Public Library card or they can call the Circulation Department at any of the three locations for more information.
Virtual storytimes are held each week with the children’s librarians. The videos were filmed with help from the City’s Communications Department. The storytimes are posted on the Library’s Facebook page and website.
Fargo Police Chief Dave Todd reports that plans for the Fargo Police Department Academy are moving forward. For at least the first couple of weeks, the Academy will be held at the Training Center on North University Drive until he has a better assessment of the COVID-19 situation. He said he is excited for the opportunities the Academy will provide for top-notch personnel and it has already served as a great recruiting tool.
Because Cleanup Week has been rescheduled for the week of September 14, the City of Fargo Landfill will allow residents of Fargo to dispose of household items at no charge the week of June 8 through June 13.
Public Service Recognition Week is May 3-9 and during a crisis such as what we have all been experiencing these past months, it is important to express true appreciation for public employees who have been asked to go above and beyond their normal jobs and who are willing to do whatever is needed. It is vital to recognize the contributions that public service employees make and the impact their work has on the health and well-being of our city, state and country. Public service is a noble calling and has a variety of challenging and rewarding professions that enable the government to be responsive, effective and innovative. All of that depends on the outstanding performance of dedicated public servants. I want to acknowledge the work of our public servants in Fargo for all they do on a daily basis and their willingness to dedicate their expertise and their lives to serving their fellow citizens. It is truly remarkable.
This evening, we have two short videos for you. The first was produced by nationally-known Bill Young Productions for usage across the United States by arenas, concert venues and stadiums. Through its partnership with the Arena Network, the FARGODOME was offered the opportunity to join in this production. This thirty-second ad began running in our community this weekend. The second video shows the many beautiful hearts we have seen on the businesses, homes and buildings throughout our community. These hearts, part of the larger “In This Together ND” campaign, reminds each of us how we’re all united in our fight against COVID-19. We hope you enjoy!