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Goals set for upcoming special assessment forums

Dates have not yet been set, but city officials hope to hold at least five community forums on the topic of special assessments by the end of the year.

Commissioner Eric Gjerdevig asked the city to create a plan to hold upcoming forums on special assessments in August.

The city is planning at least five community forums to be held by Dec. 31 and officials hope for at least 50 people to attend each one, said West Fargo Spokeswoman Melissa Richard.

Mayor Bernie Dardis said excluding city staff, probably only about 15 residents have attended similar special assessment commission meetings in Fargo, where the topic has received much debate in the last year.

During the events, a pre-event survey to find out what the public's knowledge is of special assessments and how they feel about special assessments would be given to attendees followed by a post-event survey.

During the meetings, there would probably be small group breakouts and speakers within the groups.

"One of the most important aspects of this will be education about the special assessment process," Richard said.

Richard said about five major neighborhoods hold the most residents: Westport Beach, Meadow Ridge, Eagle Run, Elmwood Court, and along 13th Avenue between Ninth Street and Sheyenne Street.

She said the city would like to hold meetings close to those neighborhoods so meetings will be convenient.

Richard hopes that about 3,700 residents would use the city's digital tools such as Facebook Live, live Twitter and posting the videos on YouTube and the local cable networks.

The city would like to implement at least one change or policy created by the Forums by March.

Wendy Reuer

Wendy reports for The Forum and West Fargo Pioneer, where she is also assistant editor. A University of Minnesota Morris graduate from North Dakota, Wendy started her career in television news and entertainment in Minnesota and at CBS in Television City, Calif. before working at newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota. 

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