Moorhead City Council Meeting
Committee of the Whole
March 2, 2015
*At Committee of the Whole Meetings, Council Members discusses City business or other matters of interest as determined by the Council. No official action is taken at Committee of the Whole meetings.
2015 Projects and Priorities
The City Council reviewed and prioritized the eight projects and priorities that were discussed at the 2015 City Council Retreat. It was pointed out that all projects are worthwhile and would add to the quality of life in Moorhead; however, funding will always be problematic and hard decisions must be made. City Manager Redlinger explained that it was important to identify which projects receive funding with the justification. As the resources are not available for all projects, one opportunity offered was to work with the other tax jurisdictions to explore the partnership opportunities.
Goal #1:Pursue Funding & Construct Grade Separation Projects
1) SE Main Ave./20th/21st St. Grade Separation Project 2) 11th St. Grade Separation Project
Goal #2:River Corridor Vision
1) Flood Mitigation Project (in progress) 1a) Flood Mitigation Project – Acquisitions (in progress) 1b) Flood Mitigation Project
– Infrastructure Projects (in progress) 2) New River Corridor Amenities 2a) New River Corridor Amenities -Evaluation of future finance
Options 3) River Corridor tree planting program 4) Complete FEMA LOMR process (in progress)
Goal #3:New & Enhanced Community Amenities
1) Bike paths 2) Pedestrian bridges – Downtown & Bluestem/Trollwood 3) Neighborhood gardens 4) Restore SS Ru
5) Fishing piers/floating dock 6) Complete existing parks 7) New Park concepts (e.g. Woodlawn Lake)
Goal #4:Infrastructure Improvement Projects
1) Future Roundabout Projects 1a) Future Roundabout Projects – 50th Ave. S./Hwy 75 1b) Future Roundabout Projects – 46thAve. S./Hwy 75 1c) Future Roundabout Projects – 15th Ave. N./Hwy 75 1d) Future Roundabout Projects – Wall St./11th St. N.
2) Additional in-house (Public Works) pavement rehabilitation capabilities
Goal #5:Future Facility Concepts
1) Law Enforcement Center 2) Aquatics Center 3) Ice Arena 4) Concert Hall and other arts facilities 5) City Hall 6) Fire Station
#3/relocation of HQ Fire Station (11th St. underpass) 7) YMCA Moorhead 8) Clay County/City of Moorhead Solid Waste Facility
Goal #6:Downtown Vision & Planning
1) Continue community dialogue project with FM Area Foundation 2) Additional downtown economic development and projects
Goal #7:New & Expanded City Services
1) Multifamily recycling 2) Increase resident recycling participation rates 3) Single-stream recycling 4) Continue long-range
budget forecasting 5) Continue marketing legislative initiatives to enhance border competitiveness
Goal #8:Monitor Regulatory Matters
1) Phosphorus and nitrate monitoring 2) Wastewater Facility permit – MPCA
Following the regular council meeting, city staff organized a joint meeting with the County Commission and the Public School Board to explore common goals and to work cooperatively in achieving the community’s priorities. The members stated that it had been a long time since the three jurisdictions met as a group for any significant purpose, and they welcomed the opportunity to work together for the benefit of the citizens. It was decided that a sub-group would meet on a regular basis to continue the conversation.
Council Member Steve Gehrtz said that this cooperation would be a continuation of working together. He noted that in 2012 the City Council in collaboration with the Moorhead Area Public Schools and Clay County, passed 2-year property tax abatement for new home construction and remodeling. This joint effort contributed to an increase of 223 new single-family homes 482 multi-family units over the past two years. This growth has led to increased tax base for all three entities as well as tremendous growth for our school district.
Gehrtz explained that as outlined by Moorhead Public Schools superintendent Dr. Lynn Kovash, Moorhead schools have space issues and they are considering expansions to their facilities including the construction of a new 2,250 student High School. Dr. Kovash noted that schools drive economic growth and this expansion would do the same.
Jail Administrator Julie Savat shared that the County has been working on a new jail facility for a number of years. Council Member Hulett reinforced the urgency of the project stating that it isn’t “if” the jail expansion happens, but when and how to accomplish it. The facility, which is the oldest in Minnesota, has reached the point that they must take action or the State Corrections Department will force them to reduce their beds causing them to house inmates in other facilities which is very costly. Those facilities are also are facing space issues as well.
An estimation of the costs associated with the recommended projects was in the range of over $250 million. Mayor Williams suggested that partnership of government and private companies is one solution.
In summing up the positive tone of the meeting, Council Member Gehrtz emphasized that the three bodies collectively have a unique opportunity to make an impact in the community for many years to come. “I trust we will work together to make Moorhead and Clay County a safe community with exemplary school facilities, parks and intangible amenities to call home.”
9th Annual Cops and Kids hockey game a victory for all
On February 22nd, the Moorhead Police and other area law enforcement agencies took to the ice in the 9th Annual Cops and Kids hockey game. Their opponent was a collection of twenty one youth from the Moorhead Youth Hockey Association. This event is one of the many ways the Moorhead Police Department reaches out to the youth in our community. The game was designed as a fun way for law enforcement to get to know local youth in a fun setting. Over the past nine years, over two hundred and twenty youth have participated in this event. This game was a thriller, ending in a shootout and the Kids team taking home the trophy with an 11-10 victory! The Moorhead Police Department looks to continue this event well into the future and are already planning for the 10th Anniversary event next winter.