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Laney thanks city for flood fight partnership

Cass County Sheriff Paul Laney came to the West Fargo City Commission meeting Monday night bearing gifts in the form of special recognition mementoes in appreciation and as a way of saying thank you to the city of West Fargo for opening their doors during the flood of 2009.

The Cass County Sheriff's Department moved their tactical command center to the West Fargo Police Department after the flood waters forced them to evacuate from the Cass County jail facilities in Fargo, spending approximately a month in West Fargo.

"I take great pleasure in stepping before you today to thank you for what you did for us," Laney said. "The impact was felt by so many. The partnership and neighbors we have in West Fargo are unrivaled by none."

Laney noted that one phone call to West Fargo Police Chief Arland Rasmussen put the string of events into place. "You went way above and beyond, giving us the foundation to go the next month without a hiccup. That is a big credit to the people of West Fargo, the West Fargo Police Department and the city commission. You allowed us to be successful, and we can never give enough thanks for what you did. You will always have a partner and friend in us. On behalf of the Cass County government and the Cass County Sheriff's Office we want to say thank you," Laney added as he presented the mementoes to Rasmussen and West Fargo Mayor Rich Mattern.

Rasmussen told Laney it was a pleasure to be able to provide whatever help was needed. "We work together so closely on a lot of different venues - it (the relationship of the two entities) is truly pretty unique. It's because of the commission and the leadership of everybody involved that we were able to pull this off."

Mattern said he too was amazed by how well everybody worked together. "I believe we had about 39 agencies through here - to see that cooperation was just incredible to me. It showed what levels of cooperation there are among all the agencies."

Laney agreed, adding "We all just solve what comes our way." In fact, he said FEMA was so impressed with what they saw in dealing with the flooding situation on both a city and countywide level that the recommendation was made to use the model adopted here locally for FEMA to train out to the rest of the country.

In other action, the commission:

-heard a request from John McIntosh, Horace resident, involved with Waste Management, for possibly providing single stream recycling services to West Fargo. The matter was referred to McIntosh, Commissioner Lou Bennett, and Public Works Director Barry Johnson for further study and recommendation being brought back to the board. The city of Horace just started the recycling service July 1;

-approved a unanimous motion not to proceed with a resolution of necessity for proposed alley reconstruction in the Lodoen Center area as part of Street Improvement District No. 2207. Over half of the residents living in the area filed protests against the work, with several of them at the meeting;

-awarded two contracts to Aggregate Industries, Moorhead, for their low bids respectively of $136,435.80 and $141,304.50 for Street Improvement District No. 2208 for work on the boulevard and paving at the Lodoen Community Center parking lot, and paving of streets in Carmell Place, south of 40th Avenue between the river and Sheyenne Street;

-awarded the contract for Sewer Improvement District 1213, involving sanitary improvements in the 8th Street West/2nd Avenue West area to Master Construction, Fargo, with a low bid of $1,541,702.95;

-okayed a conditional use permit for Mark Ugelstad, for an accessory building in an agriculturally zoned district at 16606 38th St. S.E., Mapleton, located in the outer portion of West Fargo's extraterritorial area;

-favored a conditional use permit for JB Real Estate Investments, LLC for 12-unit multiple family dwellings on Lot 8, Block 2 of Eagle Run 12th Addition, located north of 32nd Avenue and West of Sheyenne Street in Eagle Run Development;

-decided to forgo the regular commission meeting set for Labor Day, Sept. 7, since a meeting will take place the week before.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the West Fargo City Commission will take place at 5:30 p.m., Monday, Aug. 31, in the commission chambers at West Fargo City Hall. All meetings are open to the public.