West Fargo passes capital improvement plan; new city hall remains on list
The commission heard from residents at a recent town hall meeting.
WEST FARGO — The West Fargo City Commission passed its capital improvement plan, a five year infrastructure plan, that includes building a new city hall.
The plan outlines investing more than $180 million over the next five years into the city's infrastructure, which includes the lagoon decommissioning project, repaving and street repairs and building a new city hall building.
The commission initially considered the plan in March, but after hearing from residents who wanted more input, the city scheduled town hall meetings on April 26.
At the meeting, residents expressed frustration with the city, citing concerns there was not enough information in the plan.
Assistant City Administrator and former City Engineer Dustin Scott said has updated the plan online and added a more detailed project list. Each project on the list must still be approved individually by the city commission.
"Beyond that, there is not a lot of new information to share; we'll be moving the commission to move forward with approving the plan," Scott said Monday, May 16.
Along with infrastructure updates, a new city hall is included in the CIP, an item Commissioner Eric Gjerdevig cautioned against.
"I realize it's not a commitment to build something but I believe physical buildings should be on a separate list," Gjerdevig said.
Gjerdevig said while including the building project in the CIP does not guarantee it will be built, it is the first step of starting the project. The city is currently building a new fire headquarters, a project that also once started as an item on the city's long term list.
"I think by having it on the CIP, we're letting people know it's on our radar," Commissioner Mark Simmons said. "I think we have to."
Finance Director Jim Larson said about 36% of the funding needed comes from sanitary and sewer funds, and the capital improvement sales tax will pay for 25% of the needs in the next five years. Utility funds will provide 15% of the funding, and those funds come from sewer and water fees or the rates that are charged. The city would be able to cover about $181.4 million, but it would need to cover a deficit of about $3 million over the next three years.
The CIP was passed by the commission with a 4-to-1 vote. Gjerdevig voted no.
The full CIP can be found on the city's website.
Readers can reach West Fargo editor Wendy Reuer at email@example.com or 701-241-5530 . Follow her on Twitter @ForumWendy .