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The Mayor's Message

10/02/2017

The Mayor's Message - October 2, 2017

Good morning from the Mayor’s Office!

It’s been a great last few weeks in Fargo, with many of our departments continuing to do new and innovative things to advance the interests of our citizens.

Fargo hosted the North Dakota League of Cities Annual Conference last week, which brought together elected leaders from across the state, along with administrators and city employees. Encouraging this collaboration across the state’s cities, both rural and urban, is mutually advantageous for all of us and helps to advance the entire state of North Dakota. I’m always proud to host the city conferences in our city and I was especially proud to host this meeting. We heard many positive comments on our community and how the attendees were impressed with the level of growth, activity and development in Fargo.

Also last week, the North Dakota Planning Association held its annual conference in Fargo. Our Planning Department was involved in organizing this conference and several of the Planning staff made presentations on topics including creative place making, automation processes to publish data and open data and performance analytics. City Commissioner Tony Grindberg was the opening keynote speaker. Another great honor for Fargo.

Many of you are wondering the status of permanent flood protection following the recent federal court ruling by Judge Tunheim. We all know too well that this area and its people have faced flooding challenges countless times during the last century. This is an issue that is bigger than Fargo or Cass County and that is why I am encouraged by the recent conversations between North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton. I remain hopeful that the recent actions of the two governors will help us to attain the ultimate project needed to protect the greater Fargo-Moorhead metro area. I truly view this ruling as a blessing in disguise, which harbors the potential of returning us to open discussions rather than engaging in expensive lawsuits. I appreciate those who watched with a patient, but persistent, interest as your local elected leaders worked together to implement an extraordinarily complex system of flood protection spanning numerous political boundaries. The City of Fargo is steadfastly committed to implementing real, permanent flood protection and stands ready to alter the current project to serve the interests of both states. We are in this flood fight together and that is the way we should approach this opportunity.

Speaking of water, exterior brickwork on the new water treatment plant will be complete within the next few weeks, then masonry crews will begin working on the interior walls. The roof is complete and the roofing material should be more durable than the roof installed on the existing water plant and have improved properties for heating and cooling in the building. The building also should also be ready for heating to allow for winter work on the process equipment to commence.

Also, the Fargo Public Library has kicked off an eight-week strategic planning survey titled, “Your Voice, Your Future at Your Fargo Public Library,” which is meant to gather input on what Fargo residents want in regards to future library services and resources. The library is asking for residents’ input via online surveys, community workshops and focus groups. Participants can access the online survey and workshop schedule on the Library’s website.

I was able to take in the NDSU Homecoming game this last weekend, including the parade in downtown Fargo. It was a great time. I’m continually reminded of the passion in this community for all of our schools – Fargo is a special place and we’re fortunate to call it our home. Thanks for your interest. We’ll visit again soon.