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For stockpiling site: City denies modified request

For the second time in two weeks, West Fargo City Commissioners have said 'no' to a request for a conditional use permit that would allow for stockpiling of sand, gravel and fill dirt and other building materials,, in an area south of 7th Avenue Northeast, east of Center Street, with the south side of the property abutting the Burlington Northern Railroad property.

Tom Martin of Key Contracting appeared before the board to ask Commissioners to reconsider their decision of the April 21 meeting. He provided a modified request that excluded a crushing operation and set the height of the stockpiles at restricted levels. Martin also wants to construct a 12,000 square foot shop/office building on the north side of the property.

Residents living near the proposed site were again present at the meeting to voice opposition to the revised plan because of health and noise concerns for the young, elderly and animals. Maurita Hess, whose mother suffers from chronic lung disease and lives in the residential development approximately 550 feet from the proposed area, spoke of health issues that would be posed by blowing dirt and dust. "The dust is an irritant. We will be forced to stay indoors out of necessity."

She also circulated petitions in the neighborhood opposing the stockpiling plant, turning them into the Commission. "The general consensus is everyone is so disgusted," she said.

City Commissioner Brenda Warren, who lives in the area, said "what the Commission has to realize is that the neighborhood was here first. It's a great neighborhood and we want it to be a healthy one. I don't know why we are back here again (discussing the request). This is not against Key Contracting. Let them build their building and find a different spot for stockpiling. It will destroy the quality of life if you reconsider this."

Warren moved to oppose the request, with Commissioner Bryan Schulz providing the second. The board voted unanimously against the motion.

The Commission also approved a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) application for Midcontinent Communications for their technical operation center at 50 22nd St. E. The 13,500 square foot building will house the technical operation area for the telecommunication business that recently moved into the city.

Within five years, the business plans to create 20 new positions and in the near future, a retail store will also be opened, making it more convenient for customers.

The West Fargo Economic Development Advisory Committee approved the PILOT in February. The City Commission voted 5-0 to support that recommendation.

In other action, the Commission:

-approved the engineer's report, authorized preparation of plans and specs, approved plans and specs and authorized the ad for bids for sidewalk improvement district No. 6045, for areas in Charleswood, Elmwood Court and East Eagle Run Lake. Letters will be issued to those affected, with a July 15 response time for homeowners to install their own sidewalks. After that time, the city will coordinate installation and bill the homeowner. Sidewalks will also be installed for continuity in neighborhoods where undeveloped lots are remaining as the minority;

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the West Fargo City Commission will take place at 5:30 p.m., Monday, May 19, in the Commission Chambers at West Fargo City Hall. All meetings are open to the public.