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Choice Financial to do major remodel

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Choice Financial will be undergoing a major renovation of their business site at 210 Sheyenne St. that they say will improve the property to meet their current and future needs.

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The West Fargo City Commission approved Renaissance Zone and facade grant/loan requests from the business during regular meeting action Monday night, contingent upon final receipt and a review of all cost estimates by city staff.

The capital improvements will substantially improve the life expectancy of the property and will be consistent with visions and goals of the city of West Fargo.

The scope of work will include $525,000 for updating the roof, structure, siding.windows, doors, signs and landscaping. Current value of the building is $315,700 with the estimated value after property improvements $840,700, resulting in a estimated five-year income tax savings of $60,000, and a five-year local property tax savings of $90,000.

The facade work, with the city participation capped at $20,000 via a new program implemented about six months ago, will involve beige stucco for ¾ of the exterior, and light beige stucco for the remaining quarter as well as a copper roof and copper roof trim.

Before approving the motion to approve both requests the commission lauded Choice Financial officials for their West Fargo connection. Speaking to bank president LeRoy Adams, Commissioner Mark Simmons stated, “Thank you so much for your continued support of our community and staying in West Fargo. Tell your board, we really do appreciate it.”

The board also touted the facade grant program saying they were highly pleased with the number of requests already approved for Sheyenne Street businesses.

Economic Development and Community Services Director Mark Vaux who oversees the program said, “We were hoping to do one in a year and we’ve already done four in six month and there will be more to come.” The other three granted were to Off the Wall Advertising, the Silver Dollar and Sandy’s Donuts.

The commission also denied an abatement or refund of taxes for 2012 made by Richard Fuller Sr. of Fuller Properties, for property he owns at 1738 Main AVe. E., that would have made the amount the same for 2012 as it was in 2011.

The property is valued at $848,400, Fuller wants it reduced $45,200 to the 2011 level of $803,200.

Fuller said that work on Main Avenue reconstruction where his units are located, prevented him from renting out one of his front spaces, that resulted in a loss of income.

West Fargo Assessor Wanda Wilcox requested the application be denied based on the fact Fuller didn’t provide any income documentation to support his statement that the road construction in the area hindered his rental space causing a loss of income for the property.

In addition, she said market and cost analysis calculations have provided information that the valuation of the property is not obsessive for 2012.

Wilcox said without the actual income numbers she couldn’t “just pluck a number” out of her head, she would have to review all the records to see if they affected value,adding they were lacking.

City Commissioners supported the denial, saying they were sympathetic but the road repair is not something that occurs every year and that other businesses also had to experience it. Lack of income figures was also a deterrent.

In other action, the commission:

-okayed second reading for Ordinance No. 946 relating to limitations on turning around. Language added to the latter states that no turn can be made at any mid-block location or at any signalized intersection in the city unless permitted by a sign posted by the city. This section was adopted after completion of the Main Avenue project, with some intersections on the roadway in need of the u-turn signage posted;;

-following a public hearing, tabled action per the developers request on second and final reading for two requests from Rusty Goose Development LLP : rezoning of Lot 7, Block 1 of North Pond at the Preserve 3rd Addition from agricultural to light commercial, for a 2.3 acre parcel, west of Veterans Blvd. and on the north side of 26th Ave. E., and rezoning of Lot 5, Block 3 of South Pond at the Preserve 6th Addition from agricultural to light commercial, for a 40,396 square foot parcel, west of Veterans Blvd. and on the north side of 32nd Ave. E.

-following a public hearing, approved second reading and the final plat of a request from Prairie Heights Church for a replat and rezoning of Prairie Heights Development 2nd Addition from limited multiple dwellings to one and two family dwellings for a 17.12 acre parcel on the south side of 32nd Ave. E. and between 2nd St. E. and 4th St. E.

-approved a reduction in parking request from NAI North Central for a proposed multi-tenant office building that will be located at 3187 Bluestem Drive at Lot 5, Block 3 of South Pond at the Preserve 6th Addition, with the understanding if the uses generate more parking that anticipated, the property owner will satisfy the parking requirements through shared parking agreements or limit the uses not to exceed the parking capacity;

-favored a motion to approve a reduction in force policy from Human Resource Director Carmen Schroeder;

-as of the Feb. 18 activity report issued the following building permits: James Carmichael, 1761 Evergreen Way, $8000; Serenity Homes, 3009 6th St. E., $350,000, residential dwelling; Foltz Buildings, 1208 W. Main Ave., $71,000, remodel, commercial addition;’ Minko Construction, 314 15th St. NW, $740,000, remodel, commercial wash bay and office additions; Jason Dahl, 1024 44th Ave. W., $1000, remodel, residential lower level finish; and Bachmeier Custom Homes, 848 47th Ave. W., 420,000, remodel, residential lower level finish.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the West Fargo City Commission will take place Monday, March 4, at 5:30 p.m. in the Commission Chambers at West Fargo City Hall, 800 4th Ave. E. All meetings are open to the public.

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