Nancy Edmonds Hanson
The question of who’ll pay for 34th Street North has been up in the air, so to speak, for 15 years. Now the cities of Moorhead and Dilworth have finally come to an agreement. The Moorhead City Council approved an agreement finalized last month under which Dilworth will reimburse their city for its financing of the street that marks the northern section of the two neighbors’ border.
Back in the mid-2000s, when 34th Street was developed north of Main from Fourth to 28th avenues as part of the 34th Street corridor, Moorhead paid all the bills with federal and state interim funding. Over the years since then, Moorhead has recovered its investment through special assessments of properties with access to the street. But it had no authority to assess property owners along the east side lying within the Dilworth city limits.
Separate agreements were reached with two businesses established in Dilworth since that time: Walmart in 2007 and, last year, ALDI (as well as the owner of the surrounding land). In July, the two cities finally reached an agreement for the city of Dilworth to reimburse Moorhead for the balance of half its costs along 34th Street from Fourth to 15th avenues.
Moorhead was represented in negotiations by city manager Chris Volkers and council member Steve Gehrtz. Dilworth’s representatives were council member Julie Nash and administrator Peyton Mastera. According to the agreement, Dilworth will pay its neighbor about $235,000 of the deferred initial construction cost in annual installments of $29,000 over a period of 10 years, plus $2,000 per year for street light and traffic signal operations and maintenance. Both cities will share in on-going operations, maintenance and future improvements according to the agreement.
“Moorhead will be reimbursed with half of what we put in over time,” Gehrtz explained. “It’s a good thing all around – a good example of how two communities can work together to benefit both.”
12 file for two open seats
As Gehrtz completed his final meeting representing Ward 4 on Monday, city manager Volkers told the six remaining council members that a total of 12 candidates filed to replace the vacancies – seven of them competing for his seat, and five for Ward 3 council member Joel Paulsen’s. “Interestingly,” she told the group – including five women among the six remaining members – “all of them are male.”
Joining John Bell, the first to file in Ward 3, are Troy Krabbenhoft, Edwin Hahn, Larry Seljevold and Brent Behm.
Ward 4 candidates include Eric Smith, Ryan Larson, James McKinstra, Swede Stelzer, Marc Hedlund, Jeremiah Jones and Steve Lindaas.
The council seats will be filled in the Nov. 5 special election formally approved by the Moorhead School Board Monday. The board is seeking approval of a proposed $110 million bond to fund expansion and renovation of Moorhead High School.