Timberwolves coming to town

Courts and police, downtown Moorhead’s LOFT, supporting the City of Hawley and commission appointments created a lively Moorhead City Council meeting Monday night.

Holly Heitkamp, Moorhead’s director of Parks and Recreation, brought the Minnesota Timberwolves project, “New Era, New Courts,” for final budget action. The council accepted $20,000 from the joint Timberwolves/U.S. Bank partnership. Moorhead will add $10,000 more from park funds.

Woodlawn Park was flooded in 1998, 2006, 2007 and 2009, ruining the asphalt. The replacement court will be concrete and able to withstand flooding. This project will not only provide a new amenity for this area but will remove a true “eye sore” to this heavily used regional park. Heitkamp said this will provide a “superb court.”

The timeline for the construction is to have the court completed by the end of August, first week in September. This will allow some of the Timberwolves players and bank executives the opportunity to come to Moorhead to unveil the new court. The Timberwolves told Heitkamp on Tuesday that they would have further information later this week about who will attend from the team and the bank. The expected ribbon cutting is Aug. 29 at 2 p.m.

Heitkamp reported progress on the Southside Regional Park – Soccer Complex irrigation plan for using a pipeline from the Red River rather than using potable water. The Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission meets this week on further development that will be recommended to the legislature. The City of Moorhead has a current investment of $10.675 million that provided land acquisition (100 acres), municipal infrastructure of $3.5 million, athletic field development of $2.65 million, and $2.025 million for administrative building, concessions, restroom, internal drives and trails, and a Miracle Field, which is a rubberized play surface for individuals with disabilities.

Moorhead’s continuing work to recruit and retain police officers and detectives means new salary scales for police officers and detectives will begin Oct. 1. Other classifications and other employee negotiations continue on schedule.

The old scale at step one for police officers increased by 3.17 percent and for detectives increased 7.34 percent. The new step 11for police officers shows an increase to $72,333.87, an 8.4 percentage increase and for police detectives an increase to $75,263.39, a 12.79 percent increase. These increases put Moorhead closer to salary ranges of like-sized cities.

The scale changes show the starting salary of the range and the maximum salary, according to Christina Volkers, city manager. By implementing these now, the city council confirmed its intent to implement the new classification study for 2018 citywide.

In other action, the council OK’d a purchase and development assistance agreement for Dragon Development, LLC (Five Stone Development) for the downtown corner project at 8th Street and Main Avenue. Cindy Graffeo, executive director of the Moorhead Economic Development Authority, said the action was a win-win for everyone involved. Issues involving public art space, parking and possible ground contamination from the previous service station at the site, had been resolved.

The council approved $20,000 to support the City of Hawley’s action concerning total phosphorus effluent limits for city and industrial wastewater treatment with the Red River Basin in Minnesota water flow to Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba. This is being done, among other reasons, because no phosphorus/nutrient standard is being violated on the Red River; no analysis has been performed to assess phosphorus sources and contributions; no reductions are required or plan in place for over 99 percent of the problem; and no limits for North Dakota and South Dakota, including much larger dischargers such as Fargo and Grand Forks.

The council approved naming members to city commissions. Human Rights Commission: Hukun Abdullahi, 928 24th Ave. S. Apt. 15, Moorhead, was appointed for the term Aug. 14 and ending Jan. 31, 2019 and Shinwar Mayi, 2123 41st St. S, Moorhead, was appointed for a term Aug. 14 and ending Jan. 31, 2020. Both are at-large positions. Moorhead Public Service Commission, Cheryl Duysen, 1949 51st Ave. N., Moorhead, was appointed to a term beginning Sept. 1 to Jan. 31, 2021, for Ward One. Planning Commission, Nicole Mattson, 3230 4th Ave. N., Moorhead, was appointed to a term beginning Sept. 1 and ending Jan. 31, 2021 for Ward One.

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