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Project focuses on Veterans Boulevard reconstruction

By Karen Huber

West Fargo City Commissioners approved unanimously Monday might a Ninth Street and Veterans Boulevard Corridor Study that will include widening portions of the area within the next year-and-a- half as well as improving safety conditions at some of the major intersections.

The study was requested by the cities of West Fargo and Fargo and completed by a consulting firm with the Metropolitan Council of Governments also serving as a partner.

Approval of the study will speed up some of the work presently earmarked on the city's capital improvement plan in one of the community's fastest growing development areas.

It is the tremendous amount of development that is already occurring and others anticipated in the near future south of Interstate 94 that has prompted city and metro area leaders to take a look at widening Veterans Boulevard sooner than anticipated. The roadway opened in 2009.

The first emphasis will be on the reconstruction of Veterans Boulevard from 32nd to 40th Avenue south into a four lane divided roadway that will better accommodate traffic flows to West Fargo's future second high school and middle school. This work is expected to be completed in time for the school openings in the fall of 2013.

Since Veterans Boulevard is the border between Fargo and West Fargo, the two cities will split the cost of the $9 million dollar project.

Following completion of this project, work is expected to begin in 2014 on reconstruction of portions of 40th Avenue south, as well as other targeted areas on the plan.

In other action, the commission:

-following a public hearing at which no one voiced opposition, approved first reading of rezoning of West Fargo's 2nd Addition from agricultural to heavy industrial

-tabled a request until the next meeting to approve second reading for annexation for a five-acre parcel located adjacent to the city limits in West Fargo's 2nd Addition near the old Federal Beef facility. Wally Tintes wants the parcel annexed so development can take place.

-approved second reading of a request for rezoning Lot 2, Block 3 or Eagle Run 8th addition from limited multiple dwellings to planned unit development and a land use plan amendment from medium density residential to office park for the purpose of allowing an office building. Rescom made the request for the 185,824 square foot parcel located west of Sheyenne Street and south of 34th Ave. W.;

-okayed a resolution approving West Fargo street naming and addresses as they pertain to Ordinance No. 917;

-approved a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) project request from Moore Engineering Inc., 925 10th Ave. E. beginning in 2013 and ending in 2018. They are adding an 8,100 square foot addition to their existing building at a total estimated project cost of $900,000. Total taxable value of the property eligible for the exemption is $45,000. The business employs 90 and will add 20 new jobs in the next five years;

-okayed first reading of Ordinance No. 922 relating to the penalty for driving without liability insurance;

-approved a Renaissance Zone application request from Perry Leier, Leier Investments, Superior Steam Cleaning for property at 345 11th St. W. They have purchased the lot next to their existing business and will be expanding, constructing a new 5,000 square foot building. The plan is to us a quarter of the building for their expanding operation; lease a quarter out; and lease the remaining half to a company they already have an agreement with. Total project cost is $262,708. The West Fargo Economic Development Advisory Committee had recommended approval subject to a landscaping plan and receipt of a Letter of Good Standing from the state;

-approved a conditional use permit for Alfons Allmaras to allow for construction of an oversized accessory building (40x60) on 1.9 acres located in Selberg's 2nd Addition, on the north side of Martin Drive, north of township road 32nd Ave. NW and west of Cass County Highway 17. Accessory buildings over 1000 sq. ft. have been conditionally approved in the past for rural subdivisions provided they are in character with the pattern of the subdivision. The proposed request is consistent with city plans;

-okayed a conditional use permit for a childcare facility for 18 children within a home at 1438 Suntree Drive.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the West Fargo City Commission will take place Monday, June 3, at 5:30 p.m. in the commission chamber at West Fargo City Hall, 800 4th Ave. E. All meetings are open to the public.