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Mayor’s Message - March 8, 2017

Post Date:03/09/2017 4:32 PM

We had a great week last week when more than 30 people from Grand Forks travelled to Bismarck to represent “Team Grand Forks” as part of our bi-annual “Grand Forks Day” at the capital. It was a good cross section of public and private sector and, as the Governor mentioned, it highlighted our community’s reputation for being collaborative. I was particularly impressed with our city team members who represented us with the utmost professionalism and competence.

“Team Grand Forks” met with the Governor and with the heads of the University System, the Bank of North Dakota, the Department of Commerce and the ND National Guard. We also spent time with our local legislators who are doing a fine job of representing Grand Forks and our main priorities, particularly including Water Treatment Plant funding and support for our growing UAS industry and related partnerships, as well as hearing the perspectives on our key partners, UND, by the Chancellor and Governor. I am also pleased our efforts to create a vibrant community and effectively use our existing infrastructure for development – like the Arbor Lot project – align with Governor Burgum’s Main Street Initiative. So a big thanks to all involved with Grand Forks Day. 

This Monday, the City Council approved further actions to help address our community’s housing issues of availability and affordability. They approved pilot efforts that we will be tracking over the next one-two years to help encourage developers to put more homes on the market. I know it isn’t a silver bullet but it is tangible action that we can measure, complements previous actions and certainly beats the alternative of doing nothing. Congrats to the City Council for moving forward.

In the coming weeks we’ll continue to work on our priorities for the year that I laid out in the State of the City. Our action steps are in the buckets of “Infrastructure”, “Open for Business”, “Opioids and Addiction” and “Engagement”. They include funding for roads and water, encouraging investment in new businesses, convening community partners to draft an addiction plan, and making sure we’re engaging and listening to our citizens.

Oh, and it was fun to see that rideshare (UBER and Lyft) were the #1 thing the State of the City crowd said would help connect our UND students and community . . . And as of last week, both UBER and Lyft have set up shop. I am certainly not taking credit, just pointing out people are Making It Happen!

Congrats to UND Women’s and Men’s Basketball teams for joining the “Big Sky Champs” club with the Volleyball and Football teams. You keep making us proud.

Also making us proud are the men and women (& families!) of our National Guard 188th Air Defense Artillery who will once again be keeping our nation’s capital safe. Thank you and God Bless.

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