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City agrees to ramp up lagoon construction schedule

By Karen Huber

West Fargo City Commissioners agreed to ratchet up the time H & S Contractors, Moorhead, can spend on the job in an effort to get a new lagoon cell completed on an 80-acre site in the complex located in the northwest part of the city.

The board okayed a 20 hour seven day-a-week work schedule for the company starting Jan. 6, 2014, weather permitting, so they can beat the frost, which was described as “a huge issue. We need to stay ahead of it,” Tracy Hazelton from H & S Contractors said. “We want to get the core out and into the stockpile and we are just farther ahead of the game.”

He said if his crews had 45-50 days at that schedule they would have about 80 percent of the excavation complete.

He also added that revving up the schedule now would mean a quicker completion date, perhaps mid-July instead of early October, good news given the fact the lagoon system is already at capacity and the city doesn’t want to be in violation.

H&S officials said most of the noise would be coming from the trucks moving around the site, so it shouldn’t be exorbitant, adding they would be keeping to the southeast corner as much as possible and working their way west which would keep them the farthest away from residents.

A few weeks back, commissioners approved a 12-hour six day-a-week work schedule out of consideration for the residents living adjacent.

Part of the motion Monday night included revamping the time schedule if complaints of any adversities arise or complaints are received about noise or anything related.

In other action, the commission:

  • okayed a planned unit development amendment to install larger storage tanks for a welding and gas supply business per a request by American Welding on a 2.8 acre parcel in Geller’s First addition at 1655 E. Main Ave. The applicant proposes changing existing oxygen storage tanks with larger ones and this use would require the planned unit development amendment. West Fargo Fire Department officials had no concerns with the request; 
  • okayed a resolution of annexation for property in an extraterritorial portion of West Fargo, consisting of approximately 225 acres north of 12th Avenue in the Strata area setting a public hearing date of Jan. 20, 2014 at 5:45 p.m. to start the annexation process;
  • okayed second and final reading on the rezoning of Lots 1-81, Block 3 of Brooks Harbor 1st Addition, from one and two family dwellings to planned unit development. Developers want to construct twin homes and single family dwellings on the 5,248-plus vacant parcel, located south of I-94 and west of Sheyenne St. The plan calls for 36 bi-level twin homes, 12 two-story single family structures and 33 bi-level single family units;
  • okayed second and final reading on the rezoning of Lot 1, Block 1 of Prairie Heights 2nd Addition from limited multiple dwellings to light commercial and a land use amendment from medium density residential to general commercial;
  • authorized second and final reading for the rezoning of 4RB Subdivision, in the city’s extraterritorial areas along 19th Avenue Northwest, west of Cass County Highway 17, from agricultural to rural estate district and a land use amendment from agricultural preservation to rural residential paving the way for the sale of an existing farmstead;
  • following a public hearing for Street Improvement District No. 2232 involving the extension from 36th and 38th Avenue all the way to 40th Avenue, agreed to look into the possibility of securing extra right-of-way to ensure a consistently styled roadway. Chad Volk, who lives in the area, made the request for maintaining consistency for the sake of safety on behalf of all the families with young children living in the area. The board approved the resolution of necessity to proceed;
  • approved an amendment to the Red River Regional Dispatch Center agreement that allows the purchase of space instead of renting the space currently occupied by agencies using the dispatch center. West Fargo Police Chief Arland Rasmussen told the board that the appraisal came in at $580,000 and the buyout is about $320,000. He noted that about $106,000 in lease payments will be made in the 2014 year. He said the amount of purchase can be piggy backed on a loan the city of Fargo is obtaining for as little as 1.5 percent interest. Rasmussen said that all-in-all the purchase is a good thing and should save some money in the long run.