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5 things to know today: Water bill, Hospitals strained, Public comments, Interstate bypass, Demolition decision

A select rundown of stories found on InForum.

water bill house
The family that owns this home in north Fargo is challenging water bills from this past summer that showed unusually high water meter readings, including a bill for July that showed the property used 74,000 gallons of water for the month. The property owners say the home usually uses 1,000 gallons to 2,000 gallons a month. Chris Flynn / The Forum

1. Fargo denies bill adjustment for home with mysterious 70,000 gallon jump in water use

It began several months ago, when Bob Kjenstad noticed the water bill for a residence his family owns in north Fargo was increasing.

The house, which Kjenstad said normally uses between 1,000 and 2,000 gallons of water per month, saw its meter-recorded consumption go to about 7,000 gallons a month, then to 16,000 gallons a month and finally, in July, to a whopping 74,000 gallons in one month.

Read more from The Forum's Dave Olson

2. North Dakota reports low COVID-19 testing day as hospitals continue to strain

coronavirus.jpg
A coronavirus graphic. Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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North Dakota hospitals continue to struggle with high patient admissions and lack of medical staff as the latest COVID-19 wave pushes the health care system to its limit.

The latest surge driven by the highly contagious delta variant of COVID-19 has put the state on a trajectory for a harsh fall. North Dakota has about 200 more active cases now than it did at the same time last year.

Read more from Forum News Service's Jeremy Turley

3. North Dakota's redistricting committee to hear public comments

ND redistricting committee.jpg
Sen. Ron Sorvaag, R-Fargo, speaks to the state redistricting committee on Sept. 8, 2021, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Fargo regarding the legislative redistricting for eastern North Dakota. Chris Flynn / The Forum

North Dakota's redistricting committee will receive public comments on proposed legislative redistricting plans at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 22.

The meeting is to take place in the Roughrider Room of the state Capitol in Bismarck.

Those wanting to testify remotely or provide written testimony should email lcouncil@nd.gov by noon Wednesday.

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4. Traffic expected to switch to Interstate 29 bypass later this week

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Here is a view of the Interstate 29 bypass looking south that is part of the Fargo-Moorhead metro diversion project. The northbound lanes, at left, are expected to open later this week and traffic will be switched there in head-to-head traffic. The current head-to-head traffic on Interstate 29 will then be closed down so work can begin on tearing out that roadway and hauling dirt to raise up the roadway. Submitted drone photo / Courtesty of Industrial Builders

Motorists on Interstate 29 south of Fargo could be driving on the northbound lanes of the newly-constructed bypass later this week.

Traffic will be head-to-head in the lanes until the southbound lanes of the bypass are completed later this fall.

Army Corps of Engineers resident engineer Mathew Andersen said late last week about 60% of the asphalt paving on the northbound lanes was completed on the four-mile bypass. Weather permitting, the paving should be finished later this week, allowing for head-to-head traffic.

Read more from The Forum's Barry Amundson

5. After years of debate, Fargo high rise finally slated for demolition

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The Lashkowitz high rise is seen Friday, Sept. 10, 2021, near the Red River in Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

The decision is final.

After a few years of debate on whether to tear down or renovate the downtown Lashkowitz High Rise, Fargo Housing & Redevelopment Authority Director Jill Elliott confirmed the building is coming down.

Although officials have said that they would likely have the structure knocked down, there was still some hesitancy in the past few years.

Read more from The Forum's Barry Amundson

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