Moorhead City Council Meeting

Moorhead City Council Meeting

Committee of the Whole

January 20, 2015

Chuck Chadwick

*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.

Review sale of city-owned river corridor property

The City Council reviewed a draft policy from staff who requested guidance on the sale of the remaining 18 City-owned properties along the Red River corridor. These properties are not required for flood mitigation or other City uses. Several property owners expressed interest in leasing or purchasing the remaining properties that adjoin their property after the construction of the flood mitigation projects. The sale would reduce the public cost for maintenance and may increase the City’s property tax base.

According to City documents, the Moorhead River Corridor Master Plan’s draft sales criteria were presented to the Red River Advisory Committee and at public open houses. The public comments were mixed regarding possible lease or sale of property acquired for flood mitigation. Comments on the proposed criteria were generally positive, although some thought that the criteria should be more flexible.

The Master Plan’s goals for sales include a number of qualifications such as maintaining the integrity of the City’s flood mitigation projects as well as maintaining access to the properties for emergency flood plans. Other goals that were highlighted were the desire to maintain the neighborhoods and discourage private development in non-protected areas.

The sales criteria within the River Corridor Master Plan include the following:

· Land must be protected by natural ground, fill, or flood mitigation infrastructure to an elevation equivalent to the City’s flood mitigation goal of 44 feet river stage for the area.

· Land must not be needed for temporary emergency measures and/or access to flood mitigation infrastructure.

· Land encumbered with easements relating to flood mitigation (i.e.: storm sewer, sanitary sewer, access, etc.) will not be sold.

· Land must not be identified in the Moorhead River Corridor Master Plan as a possible area for future public project(s).

City staff stated that other than staff time, there would be no cost to the City as the buyers would be responsible for all costs including surveying and closing costs, as well as paying the fair market value for the property. Council Member Mari Dailey said, “I would like to see the sale of the available parcels so the City wouldn’t have to do the mowing and weed control, as well as the potential for additional riverfront trails.”

The draft policy will now be placed on a future agenda for approval.

Revisions to City Code: Stormwater Management Discussion

There were no financial considerations in the discussion. The Council reviewed several revisions to the code, which involves changes to the procedures and practices the City uses to administer the stormwater management program. According to the City Code, there were several revisions that required action by February 12, 2015.

2014 Housing & Development Summary

Moorhead’s 2014 construction activity surpassed the great growth of 2013 by 9.5%. More than $104 million of construction value was added to the City of Moorhead through new and remodel residential and commercial building activity.

2013 was a big year in housing – a 172% increase over 2012. 2014 housing production was an increase of 11% above 2013. Moorhead’s 2014 residential construction activity includes 449 total units.

Important factors in Moorhead’s housing success include:

– Moorhead’s flood mitigation efforts and the limited need for flood insurance by property owners in Moorhead, especially as it affects new construction.

– Consumer and community marketing investments—targeting homebuyers while they are shopping for homes.

– Builder and Real Estate Professional public relations – stakeholder updates, builder lunch & learns, Real-tor continuing education.

– Affordable lots with infrastructure already in the ground – cost advantage for special assessments.

– Make Moorhead Home property tax rebates for new and remodeled homes (extended through 2016)

– First time home buyer incentives in partnership with Minnesota Housing

In 2014, 180 new attached and detached single family homes were built, a 40% increase from 2013. 269 new residential units were constructed in Moorhead, a 3% decrease from 2013 which realized a 35-year high in multi-family development. $56.7 million in new residential value was constructed in 2014, a 28% increase from 2013.

Apply for a Moorhead

home improvement loan TODAY!

Limited resources available!

If your home is 15 years or older, apply for a Moorhead home improvement loan with no monthly payments and 0% interest!

Occupants of single family homes whose income falls below 80% of area median income are eligible to apply (e.g., 1-person household must have an annual income at or below $40,400, a 2-person household below $46,200).

Borrow up to $20,000

Borrow an additional $5,000 if needed to bring home up to standard condition

Fully secured by equity in the home

Applications processed on 1st come 1st serve basis

Loan is fully repayable upon sale, vacancy, or title transfer of the property

Mobile homes ineligible

For more information call 218.299.5424

HCS Received Grant from

MNHS for Project Archivist

Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County gladly announces a grant award from Minnesota Historical Society to hire a Project Archivist. This addition to the HCS staff will spend 2015 and half of 2016 systematically organizing manuscript collections, paper records, documents, letters, scrap books, newspapers, pamphlets, maps, posters, photographs, tapes, films, disks, genealogical and related ephemera, and other relevant print or electronic material of an archival nature that reflects primarily Clay County, MN history.

“This temporary hire will be able to set up a system and procedures manual for the Archives that we’ve wanted and needed for years. The end result will be descriptions of our collections that we can share with the public via the web. It’s exciting to see this finally come to fruition,” says Mark Peihl, Archivist for HCS.

This project has been financed in part with funds provided by the State of Minnesota through the Minnesota Historical Society from the Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.

Applicants are urged to apply immediately as the hiring process has already begun. For more information visit HCS’s website at www.hcscconline.org.

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