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Golf Course study moves forward

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Fargo, 58102
Fargo North Dakota 101 5th Street North 58102

West Fargo City Commissioners agreed Monday night by a 4-1 vote to allocate $2,500 toward a feasibility study for a proposed golf course south of I-94.

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Westport Beach developers are willing to donate 360 acres of land, located north of 52nd Avenue West, for an 18-hole golf course. The Commission tabled action on the matter at their Oct. 17 meeting to give City Administrator Jim Brownlee time to see if the West Fargo Park District and the developers would be willing to share the bill for the $16,000 study.

Brownlee told Commissioners Monday night that the Park District declined to participate with any funding but that developers said they would be willing to pay up to the full cost.

Brownlee said the study is expected to provide answers to questions about what such a facility would cost, what operating and maintenance expenses would be, and how many rounds of golf would be expected to be played in order to determine fees.

The study, which will take about eight weeks to complete, will be conducted by HPS Golf Services, a Colorado-based firm. Their proposal put the cost of the study at $13,000, with a cap of $3,000 on additional out-of-pocket expenses.

Developer Jim Bullis told Commissioners that agreeing to go along with the study would not be a commitment to anything at this point. He said the aim is to secure input from a third party to see if the whole concept is indeed feasible.

Commissioner Brenda Warren, who voiced opposition to the study at the October meeting, said the City has more pressing issues they need to fund with taxpayers dollars. "We are a city on the grow. We have infrastructure and capital improvement needs. I just don't see a golf course fitting in."

Commissioner Bryan Schulz made a motion to contribute $2,500, saying he felt the Commission needed to put forth a good-faith effort with the study. Commissioner Brenda Warren cast the lone 'no' vote, with Mayor Rich Mattern and Commissioners Mark Simmons, Bryan Schulz and Lou Bennett supporting the motion.

In other action, the Commission:

• approved second reading of Ordinance 811 relating to truck routes, in doing so amending the ordinance to be more reflective of the conditions on the street and making it clearer as to what is or what is not a violation;

• okayed a continuance of hearing until Dec. 17, on an application for abatement and settlement of taxes for the Sunset Motel from owner Glen Vetter, to give City officials more time to review the information received last week;

• gave final plat approval to West Lake First Addition, located on the south side of 33rd Ave. W. and on the east side of 8th St. W. in the Eagle Run area, so the developer can replat the property into three separate lots, with each containing a building;

• reappointed Commissioner Bennett to the Cass County Planning Commission;

• received correspondence from the Red River Regional Dispatch Center stating that the Board of Authority unanimously approved West Fargo's request to become a member.

-approved the Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) application for Weisgram Metal Fab, Inc. for Phase II which resulted in 50,000 square feet of new manufacturing space. The Business has added nearly 70,000 square feet in two phases at an estimated value of $3 million. Fifteen employees are expected to be added in 2007, with an additional 40 in the next four years.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the West Fargo City Commission will take place at 5:30 p.m., Monday, Dec. 3, in the Commission Chambers at West Fargo City Hall. All meetings are open to the public.

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