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City grants remodeling exemption to Crary Industries

West Fargo City Commissioners approved a five-year remodeling exemption Monday night for Crary Industries, a longtime West Fargo business, located at 237 12th St. NW.

The exemption was granted for an approximate 3200 square foot remodeling project that involved creating new office space and renovation on existing office space extending it into the factory area, resulting in a more efficient work flow between the new and old.

Of the overall 2011 valuation totalling $5,610,600, $240,000 will be attributed to the office remodeling, resulting in a tax savings of $4,450 each year for the five years of the exemption.

This is the latest of several projects that Crary Industries has realized since their inception. In 1980, they established their business with a new 6,000 square foot building. In 1981 they added a 40x60 addition and another 60x100 foot area in 1984. The company continued their steady growth through the next 25 years, bringing their building to the current 216,857 square foot facility that it is today.

During this time frame, the city of West Fargo has been an ongoing ally, partnering in various other programs to assist the business in any way they can.

Crary presently has 189 employees with another 20 anticipated being added in 2011.

The commission also approved a resolution providing for the refunding of Series A and Series B improvement bonds totaling almost $8,000,000 that will result in a lower interest rate and an approximate $300,000 savings for the city over the remaining 9-year issue of the bonds. The motion gave officials approval to negotiate the rate this week before presenting bids to the mayor and city administrator for their acceptance.

Mike Manstrom of the Bismarck based firm Dougherty and Company, who negotiates the city's refunding, said the expectation is for rates not to exceed 3.10 percent on the Series A bonds and 2.80 percent on the Series B Bonds.

Manstrom said the latest Moody's Report associating with the bond bidding upgraded the city to a double A 3 rating, which he described as "very healthy" placing West Fargo at the top when compared with cities of similar population.

In other action, the commission:

- approved second reading, the land use plan amendment and gave final plat approval to rezoning of South Pond at The Preserve 2nd Addition from Agricultural to Single Family, Mixed One and Two-Family Dwelling, Limited Multiple Dwellings, and Light Commercial;

- approved 2010 budget amendments and heard a review of the 2010 fund activity. The report revealed that six funds were overspent, with a total overage of $736,533. 31 in the funds represented. The biggest three were the Municipal Highway Fund in which stimulus dollars were received and spent on overlay construction not budgeted for; flood control for flood prevention and equipment that had a zero budget; and vector control for additional air sprayings that were not anticipated;

- reappointed City Commissioner Mark Simmons to the Metro Area Transit Coordinating Board and Study Review Committee;

- voiced approval for another senior housing project located off of Veterans Boulevard and 32nd Avenue South, similar to the present ones on 13th Avenue South. The request came from James Toomey representing Southhill Properties, LLC, who will have to apply to the state housing agency for tax credits for the project to proceed.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the West Fargo City Commission will take place at 5:30 p.m., on Monday, Feb. 21, in the Commission Chambers at West Fargo City Hall. All meetings are open to the public.