We see that you have javascript disabled. Please enable javascript and refresh the page to continue reading local news. If you feel you have received this message in error, please contact the customer support team at 1-833-248-7801.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

West Fargo looks to move assessor's office to remote location

Staff will negotiate a lease amount

West Fargo city hall
West Fargo City Hall and police station.
Matt Von Pinnon / The Forum
We are part of The Trust Project.

WEST FARGO — West Fargo is considering moving its assessing department out of City Hall and into a strip mall to make room for additional staff in other departments.

City Administrator Tina Fisk said Monday, Sept. 19, that staff have been looking for space outside City Hall but within the city of West Fargo that could accommodate nine to 12 people and possibly two or three city departments.

Fisk suggested the city rent space at 1405 Prairie Parkway, which would house the assessor's department. The location is a strip mall near Bar Nine.

"They will provide parking for fleet vehicles with security cameras and lighting and have parking for staff," Fisk said. She added that there is an elevator in the building.

Fisk said the Assessor's Office was chosen to be housed off-site temporarily because staff are often working out in the community.

ADVERTISEMENT

Commissioner Roben Anderson questioned if the city has considered allowing the assessor staff to work from home part-time or use a hybrid program like many businesses have done.

A hybrid employee model allows a staff member to work remotely for part of the week while working in an office at designated times. The hybrid employees can then share "hotel desks" inside the office.

"I think that is something that could be more economical," Anderson said.

Fisk said she did not feel a hybrid model would foster the same type of collaboration having full-time, in-office staff can offer. Anderson pointed out that there will not be the same collaborative environment at an off-site location.

Fisk said if the commission approves leasing additional space, a 2023 budget amendment would have to be made. She said the the city has not allowed staff to work from home because the public has an expectation to be able to see staff while at City Hall.

"I feel like this is our best solution at this time," she said.

A committee appointed by the West Fargo City Commission is currently studying the cost of remodeling, moving or building a new City Hall and police headquarters.

Fisk provided a cost estimate of about $18 per square foot, however, it was not clear how much space would be needed, with her estimate being "a couple thousand square feet."

ADVERTISEMENT

"The cost of the lease of this space is economical for what is going on in the market," Fisk said.

However, Mayor Bernie Dardis requested that full cost estimate, including the amount of space needed and total rent cost, be provided before final approval. The commission voted 4-1, which Anderson dissenting, to approve allowing staff to negotiate a lease with the property owner on Monday. A final lease would be returned to the City Commission for final approval.

Fisk said the engineering staff and communications staff could likely be moved into the space vacated by the assessor's staff.

READ MORE FROM WEST FARGO EDITOR WENDY REUER

Readers can reach West Fargo editor Wendy Reuer at wreuer@forumcomm.com or 701-241-5530 . Follow her on Twitter @ForumWendy .

As the West Fargo editor, Wendy Reuer covers all things West Fargo for The Forum and oversees the production of the weekly Pioneer.
What to read next
Proceeds from program in partnership with Sandy's Donuts go to breast cancer awareness
Fire Marshall Dell Sprecher gives a glimpse of what the West Fargo Fire Department has been working on
Superintendent Beth Slette, District Activities Director Logan Midthun and Sheyenne High School Activities Coordinator Cory Herrmann are slated to speak.
A West Fargo Public Schools review of learner records revealed a Sheyenne player was ineligible to participate on the West Fargo Sheyenne boys soccer team throughout the season, according to a district press release Tuesday morning. Fargo Shanley is in the state tournament after the Mustangs had to forfeit all their games this season.