Record increases for city services
"Sandra Hannahs and her staff have done an excellent job maintaining and recruiting materials and activities at the West Fargo Public Library as well as keeping up with all the most recent changes in technology."
These words of praise and assessment for the 2010 operating year from City Commissioner Mike Thorstad, the city liaison on the West Fargo Library Board, as he reported to fellow commissioners during the state of the city address last week.
Thorstad said the library has continued its steady growth with increases in circulation, new library card applications, attendance at library events as well as the number of active patrons visiting and utilizing the library services with the "library board and staff continuing to look for ways to better serve the citizens of West Fargo."
Highlights of the past year included: developing Library2Go in conjunction with other area libraries to provide users free access to books and movies over the Internet; a book depository was placed at the Eagle Run Plaza, in the south area of town, to provide patrons living there an easier way to return library materials; and the meetings rooms were remodeled and furniture updated to better serve library patrons.
From a statistic standpoint, the increases showed almost 2,500 more items checked out than the previous year; new library cards up by 157; almost 3,000 more active patrons; and total event attendance up by almost 700.
Thorstad issued similar words of encouragement for the Sanitation Department and its crew saying that as the city grows so does the volume of the city's garbage collection with a six percent increase in total tonnage of waste over last years volumes, exceeding the previous high set in 2007.
In 2010, 15,324 tons were hauled to the landfill disposal and another 176 tons to the inert landfill.
Recycling figures were also up from the previous year, continuing to improve to include 11.5 percent of the total waste products. Compost materials accounted for 1,807 tons, paper 268, glass 66 and aluminum and tin 15 tons.
Thorstad noted that with the continued expansion of the city, additional equipment and staffing is required to meet the needs.
In that regard, two additional staff members will be hired this, bringing the total number of full-time employees to 17.
New equipment is also being purchased made possible in part by a $1 monthly increase per household in sanitation fees that went into effect Jan. 1, 2011.
Thorstad noted that even with the increase in fees in the works, the rate for utilities paid by West Fargo residents for full service sanitation collection is still among the lowest in the state.
Thorstad concluded by thanking sanitation manager Dennis Correll and his staff "for the great service they provide."