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11/05/2018

The Mayor's Message - 11.05.2018

{Commissioner} Gehrig is in flight right now with training so he wasn't able to join us. He just wanted us to know that we can all sleep a little better at night knowing he is out in New York doing that right now.

Ken Tinquist and Chris Ohman have passed the Registered Environmental Health Specialist exam administered by the National Environmental Health Association. This nationally recognized exam covers a broad spectrum of environmental and safety topics in order to advance the career of environmental health practitioners. By obtaining this credential, Ken and Chris have expanded their knowledge and are now considered experts in the field of environmental health. And if you want to ask him any questions about environmental health, Desi, you can just call over there, right? Absolutely.

Christine Rose (Inspections Department Deputy Administrator) received the Gerald H. Jones Code Official of the Year Award from the International Code Council during the ICC annual member luncheon last week. Everybody is getting awards; pretty good, huh?

November is Native American Heritage Month and the Library is hosting a festival and education series, including the screening of a documentary about how Native Americans have been portrayed in films.

Upcoming programs at the Library include American Sign Language storytimes, crafternoons, yoga, a basic cooking class, paper beads crafts and a recycling event for children.

Planning has been busy as well. The City issued building permits worth $405 million in the first 10 months of 2018, up 10 percent from the $367 million issued during the same time period last year. Permits were issued for $56 million in new commercial projects, $72 million for commercial remodeling, $50 million in public projects, 898 new multi-family housing units and 254 single-family houses. So we are getting some permits, John. We are making some progress.

The City of Fargo Community Trust Officers and hip-hop group DPB and CREW recently premiered their second music video, “It’s Time,” which features local men, women and children as well as Gov. Doug Burgum and his wife, Kathryn, railroad workers, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, staff from WDAY and KVLY, Cass County Sheriff candidate Jesse Jahner and nurses from Sanford and Essentia Health. The goal of the CTO program is to maintain and improve the quality of life within neighborhoods through positive interaction, communication and education. We continue to look pretty good, but Chief Todd still does not dance or hip hop too well. He did the sprinkler the other night, but he couldn't do anything else for it.

The Police Department’s “No Shave November” fundraiser is off to a great start. This year’s fundraiser will support Sgt. Mark Lykken’s family and their son, Adam, who is battling cancer. So far this month the department has raised nearly $6,000. So what's that? A $100 for a beard?

Chief Todd: A $100 for a beard and $50 for a magnificent mustache.

The City is partnering with MinnKota Recycling through November to promote the “Cans for Cash” City of Fargo Recycling Challenge. MinnKota will pay a one cent per pound match this month for all aluminum cans collected at the MinnKota Redemption Center and the City of Fargo recycling drop sites. The one-cent match proceeds from the aluminum cans will benefit the “Got No Milk” program at Fargo Public Schools, which provides milk for elementary students for mid-morning snacks for free.

We have a celebrity on the Commission tonight. Commissioner John Strand will be attending the National League of Cities Convention later this week in Los Angeles and will be a panelist at a workshop which will be addressing addiction in small cities. Topics to be discussed at the workshop include opportunities that exist for small cities to address addiction including public health responses and pre-arrest diversion, resources to address the large-scale challenges and what role city leaders play to get traction with other elected officials and community members to prioritize addressing addiction. And John, have we have made some progress in the community?

John Strand: We have a really good story to tell others and they will learn about what we have done here. So I am looking forward to it.

And today, we had the announcement that UPS is coming to town. I was with the Airport Authority and Shawn Doberstein and we went through the new UPS facilities. Coming to town after 26 years of trying to get them to come here, is that right?
Yes. That will add new employees and staff as well as the capability within the community to have a flight in and a flight out to gain two or three more hours allowed on each end of that to get your package out there and get it delivered to anywhere in the world. We are real excited about that, that's a big boom for our City. It's something we are real proud of too. So, thank you Tammy and all the members of the Airport Authority.