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Horace looks to continue southward

The Horace City Council has set off alarms in Fargo once again.

With a dispute over the Oakport Township annexation, one made by both communities, still hanging in the balance, Horace moved Monday, May 1, to annex more land, adding about 3,000 acres to the community.

Most of that is to the south of town. About 50 percent of the annexation is south of 100th Avenue along the west side of Cass County Highway 17.

The land to the north, which is known as the Arrowwood Development, is alive with construction, and has added roads like Liberty Lane and others to the community. Much of the housing out there is being coordinated by a local group that is also responsible for bringing a new hotel complex to Fargo.

Horace may have set off alarms with its annexation of land to the east of town, getting ever-so-close to Fargos main corridor of 45th Street. In fact, one section of the land crosses 57th Street, a road Fargo sees as its other main thoroughfare for development to the southwest.

Fargo responded immediately Monday, annexing 795 acres of its own north east and directly east of Horace. Four sections were to the west of 45th Street South and to the south of 64th Avenue. To make it contiguous to current Fargo property, the Commission also voted to annex land that is to the east of the disputed Oakport Township area.

Horaces annexation has been brewing since early spring. Initial discussion was introduced by Mayor John Goerger and his father, Don. John Goerger said he later had preliminary discussions with the landowners in the newly annexed area, and that all of them had signed a petition asking for their annexation into the city. Goerger and other Horace officials have said it has been the desire of many of the residents in the annexed areas to come to Horace simply because they do not want to live in Fargo.

Thats why they came out here in the first place, Goerger said.

Horaces City Council indicated at its May meeting that it would not be extending infrastructure to the newly annexed areas right away, unless it is requested by a landowner or developer. At this time, no plans are in the works for the newly added areas, but growth could be spurred by the success of the Arrowwood area.

Should there be any further dispute between the two communities, Horaces land grab will likely be met with little resistance, with its annexation approval coming a week before Fargos action to annex land nearby. Past precedent has shown that the community making the first official moves to add property has been conducting business in the lead.

That has several local officials up in arms, and not just in Fargo and Horace. Many are asking the state legislature to take a strong look at how land additions are made, especially in a growing area like the southern end of the Red River Valley.