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Border Town to receive new look inside and out

A longtime Main Avenue business is getting a facelift as one of five West Fargo establishments now participating in the city’s facade grant application program.

West Fargo City Commissioners went on record Monday night approving a request from Troy Goering on behalf of BorderTown Bar & Grill, 807 E. Main Ave., for a $20,000 grant as part of the Sheyenne Street/Main Avenue Framework Study. Goering plans to spend $40,000 on a redo of the exterior of the building that will include new signs, landscaping, and doors, as well as work on the patio and the stucco finish, among other improvements.

This is all part of a much larger remodeling plan also involving an upgrade of the interior of the building at a total cost of approximately $200,000.

The city of West Fargo implemented the facade improvement program in December 2011 as part of the Framework Study, as a way to encourage business owners and tenants along the two corridors to restore or renovate their buildings in order to improve the area’s physical characteristics and enhance the aesthetics of the commercial environment. The projects are funded by a 50/50 split between the applicant and the city for the project costs. The city’s share of participation cannot exceed 50 percent of the total project cost up to a maximum of $20,000 for each qualifying project, whichever is less. The interest rate is zero percent amortized over ten years. If a recipient makes payments consistently and stays in business a minimum of five years, the remaining balance will be written off up to a maximum of $10,000.

The five other West Fargo businesses already receiving the grants include: Silver Dollar Bar, Choice Financial, Sandy’s Donuts, and Off the Wall Advertising.

On a similar note, Senior Planner Steven Zimmer made a request for commissioners to approve staff time that would be used to help administer the process of creating a Community Development Corporation as one of the suggested steps of the original Sheyenne Street/Main Avenue Framework Study of which the facade grant program is a successful outcome. Zimmer said that staff believes working toward the realization of the CDC as a separate city entity twould be the next logical step towards reaching the goals outlined in the study.

The CDC would be a 501c 3 tax-exempt non-profit organization set up to acquire funding from public and or private sector sources to used for a defined purpose in the community. The CDC would be managed by a board of directors elected by its members.

Zimmer said the first action required would be forming a steering committee made up of four city staff, one city commissioner and four businesspeople from the downtown area. The committee would gauge the interest and help guide the formation.

The commission voted to allocate staff time to get the process started that would include the efforts of the city administrator, city attorney and planning department employees.

In other action, the commission:

-approved second reading and gave final plat approval to the rezoning of West Lake 3rd Addition from multiple dwellings to planned unit development, for an 8.2 acre parcel located west of Sheyenne Street and south of 32nd Avenue West in the Eagle Run area. The applicant, West Lake Apartments III, LLP, wanted to replat the one large lot into five separate lots which will each contain an apartment building. The PUD will allow the green space/landscape requirements to be calculated as a cumulative for all the lots, instead of on a lot by lot basis, which is normal policy;

-gave final plat approval to a replat request from Jacobson Holdings to allow for construction of a twin home on a 2.26 acre parcel in Dakota Territory 13th addition, located along 10th Avenue East and West of 17th Street East. The property was originally platted for multiple unit condominiums;

-gave final approval to a replat of Charleswood 30th Addition, per a request from KAJ Management, Inc. to facilitate the development of a conference center and hotel sites on a 5.5-plus acre parcel located to the southwest of the corner of 9th Street East and 19th Avenue East. The property was recently platted and rezoned into one large lot for two hotels and a conference center. The applicant wants to to replat the property to allow each structure to be located on a separate lot for both financing and addressing purposes;

-gave final plat approval contingent upon receiving the developer’s agreement to a replat request from Corn LLC for a 4.61 acre parcel in Burlington 7th Addition, located south of 19th Avenue East, east of 9th Street East, to allow for the sale and development of the property. The area is now vacant with the area to the east and north containing apartment buildings;

-awarded the contract for Sewer, Water, Storm and Street Improvement District #1249, involving work in Brooks Harbor 1st Addition, to R&R Excavating, Hutchinson, Minn. with their low bid of $4,806,067.50. The engineer’s estimate for the work was $4,657,000;

-agreed to seek bids for city cleaning services. Dow Services has been doing the work for the past several years, but with their yearly contract expiring April 30, commissioners said they would like to see a bid process involved, with the final determination on who is hired made by the commission, and not necessarily based on low bid.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the West Fargo City Commission will take place Monday, May 6 at 5:30 p.m. in the Commission Chambers at West Fargo City Hall, 800 4th Ave. E. All meetings are open to the public.