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City receives state award for lift station projects

The West Fargo City Commission received kudos Monday night on behalf of the community for their public work efforts. Chad Zander, program coordinator for the West Fargo Public Works Department, presented the American Public Works Association (APWA) North Dakota Chapter Project of the Year Award to the board based on the city’s three regional storm sewer lift stations.

The award is presented annually by the North Dakota Chapter for a public works project that has made an outstanding contribution to the APWA or in the public works field.

Zander, presented the award on behalf of the state chapter for which he currently serves as president.

One award is given each year to a project in cities with less than 5,000 population and to a city with over 5,000 residents. These winners are then submitted for the national public works project of the year.

The award was specifically for work in Storm Sewer Improvement District numbers 4044, 4046 and 4047. The project involved the design and construction of three regional storm lift stations in sections 19, 20 and 29 for the interior drainage of their developments. The design was coordinated by Moore Engineering and the construction completed by John T. Jones, Inc., Fargo.

Zander thanked the board for their “innovative solutions to public works projects in the ‘city on the grow.’ This is a big honor. There is only one given for all submitted public works projects statewide.”

Zander has been with the city public works for eight years.

The commission also voiced approval for the fifth addendum to the developer’s agreement with Butler Properties Inc. which is the completion of the city’s original agreement with Trail King. In the city’s original agreement it was stated that West Fargo would allow a portion of the excess property tax dollars collected in the TIF (tax increment financing) to be applied to the land purchase to facilitate an expansion of the Trail King facility.

The agreement was entered into in 2005 relating to the installation and financing of improvements and the creation of the West Fargo Industrial Park Tax Increment District.

Later the First through Fourth addendum was entered into for additional improvements and now the 5th addendum completes the original agreement.

-heard on update from Mike Thorstad on the FM Area Diversion project, as a representative of the local project committee. He said the House and Senate have approved the water bill that includes authorization of the Diversion. The Army Corps of Engineers has done their final amendment with a map of routes and segments formulated on how the project is being approached in phases. He said as the project proceeds there will be an ever-changing dynamic with a lot of engineering work to be done. The good news is that with all the preliminary work, local firms have been able to participate. City Administrator Jim Brownlee, who serves on a special assessment subcommittee spoke briefly about how assessments might work, saying areas broken down into regions would be assessed by benefit if assessments are indeed charged. He said that part of the present discussion involved using sales tax for funding. Thorstad added that in the whole process the West Fargo Diversion will not be interfered with — it will stay as it is and continue to operate as is. All in all, Thorstad said realization of the Diversion will be a long, changing process requiring patience. More updates will follow as information is firmed up and becomes available;

-approved second reading on the rezoning of Oak Ridge 5th Addition from agricultural to planned unit development and light commercial and final plat approval and approval of the land use plan amendment from low density residential to office park. The request was made by RNT Development/Osgood Investments for the 29.54 acre parcel so it can be developed for retail purposes and an assisted living center. The property is located between 6th Street East and Veterans Boulevard south of 32nd Avenue East. The plan is for an 18-acre development along 32nd Avenue East for retail commercial and a 5.4 acre assisted living center, the Lighthouses of West Fargo, to the north of the Shadow Wood development. Work is expected to begin next spring;

-awarded the contract for Sewer Improvement District No. 1253 Phase II, Lagoon Cell No. 10, to H&S Contracting, Inc., Moorhead, for their base bid of $3,353,441.32. The engineer’s estimate was $3,400,000. The motion was based on a contingency that the permit is received from the State Health Department, currently a work in progress that should be completed soon.

-voted not to hold the Monday, Dec. 30 meeting, since it will be the third meeting of the month.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the West Fargo City Commission will take place Monday, Nov. 18 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.