WEST FARGO — West Fargoans will soon receive a $25 gift card in their mailboxes that can be used at participating West Fargo businesses.
The West Fargo City Commission unanimously approved the final reading of an ordinance that will allow the program at a special meeting, Monday, Jan. 25.
"The update is that we moved materials forward," Communications Director Melissa Richard said Monday. Richard said there were no changes to the ordinance after the commission approved it last week, but city staff were ready to begin printing the gift cards and sign up businesses that are willing to participate on Monday evening.
The city plans to use unused federal COVID-19 relief funds to pay for the roughly $425,000 in gift cards that will be sent to more than 16,200 households in West Fargo. Households will include single family homes as well as apartments.
"We're still using the CARES ACT, COVID-19 funds," Richard said Monday.
The estimated total cost of the project is $486,950. The additional $61,950 is vendor services to manage the cards and reimbursements to the businesses, marketing materials and overall program costs to distribute the costs, Richard said.
The commission began discussing the program in late December as a way to give residents some monetary relief from the pandemic as well as an incentive to spend at local West Fargo-only businesses.
"I want to compliment Commissioner [Eric] Gjerdevig on coming up with this idea and the commission for jumping on it," Commissioner Mark Simmons said. "I realize it's only $25 and some people think it's not a lot, but what this could do for the community I think is a great thing. "
The gift cards do not have to be spent at only one place. Some participating businesses may also have options for using the gift card online.
Any resident of West Fargo can also enter into a drawing for a $1,000 gift card during the program by submitting a photo and description of their favorite local business at westfargond.gov/LoveYourLocal or posting it to Facebook and tagging @CityofWestFargo and using the hashtag #LoveYourLocalWF.
The $1,000 gift card drawing will be held in March.
To speed up the use of the gift cards, the commission asked that a time line be put on the cards. The gift cards will be good through March 28.