FAQs

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  • Assessing
    • Where do I get information on the special assessments due on my property?

      Call the City Finance Office to get any special assessment information.   This would include payoff amounts or uncertified balances.  The Finance Department can be reached at 746-2620.

  • Engineering
    • Who do I contact if I have a traffic concern?
      To report a concern or issue please Contact our Traffic Engineer Jane Williams at (701) 787-3720
    • What resources are availale for bicycle safety or bicycle routes?

      For bicycle safety and bicycle route information, please click the link below.

       

      Bicycle Safety

    • What is the city policy on Children at Play signs?

      For information on Children at Play signs please click the following link:

       

      Children At Play Signs

    • When would a deaf or blind child sign be installed?

      For information on when a sign would be installed, please click on the following link:

       

      Deaf/Blind Child Area Signs

    • Where can I find information about flashing beacons?

      To find more information about flashing beacons please click the following link:

       

      Flashing Beacons

    • What Pedestrian Roadway warning signs are used in Grand Forks?

      To find which signs are used in Grand Forks please click the following link:

       

      Pedestrian Roadway Warning Signs

    • Where can I find information about the roundabouts?

      For information about the roundabouts please click the following link:

       

      Roundabouts

    • What is the policy on speed limits and speed limit signs?

      To find more information on speed limits in residential areas and speed limit signs please click the following links:

       

      Speed Limit Signs

    • Why and Where are stop signs needed?

      To find more information about Why and Where stop signs are needed please click the following link:

       

      Stop Signs

    • Where can I find more information about suggested routes to school?

      To find more information about suggested routes to school please click on the following link:

       

      Suggested Routes to Schools

    • Where can I find more information about Traffic Signals?

      To find more information about traffic signals please click the following link:

       

      Traffic Signals

  • Inspections
    • What is a building code?
      A building code is a “living” legal collection of rules and regulations that govern the construction and occupancy of buildings. 
    • What is the purpose of the building codes?

      The purpose of the building codes is to provide minimum standards for the protection of life, limb, health, property, environment and for the safety and welfare of the consumer, general public and the owners and occupants of buildings.  The fundamental purposes of the codes or regulations can be summed up as; safety of building occupants & fire personnel, stop panic, and protection of your & adjoining properties.

  • Municipal Court
    • Who can I talk to about points on my driver’s license or suspension of my driving privileges?
      The assessment of points and suspension of driving privileges are administrative actions taken by the North Dakota Department of Transportation. If you are licensed in another state you must contact your home state regarding this matter.
    • I was charged with a DUI. How do I get a work permit?
      Contact the North Dakota Department of Transportation at (701) 787-6540 for information on getting a work permit. The Grand Forks office is located at 1951 N Washington Street. For more driver’s license information, visit the NDDOT Driver’s License and Traffic Safety Web site at www.dot.nd.gov In Minnesota, contact the Driver and Vehicle Services Division Web site.
    • Does the Judge in Municipal Court perform weddings?
      • The Judge will perform weddings on Mondays at 10:00 a.m. with a limit of two each week.
      • We will not schedule an appointment until we receive the $60.00 non-refundable fee. This is subject to change at any time.
      • At the time of payment, the marriage license must be presented to the clerk, which will be returned after the ceremony. A date can then be set.
    • How do I get a Public Defender / Court Appointed Attorney?
      You must appear in court within 14 days of your arraignment to make a request for a court appointed attorney. A court appointed attorney is available only on criminal charges. The Judge will make a decision at that time as to whether you qualify for a court appointed attorney or not. If an attorney is appointed it does not mean the attorney is free, and you may be required to pay a portion of the fees. When your case is completed, the Judge may determine that you will be responsible for all, none or for a percentage of the bill when known.
    • What kind of information can the city prosecutor give me?
      The City Prosecutor’s office can provide information about pending cases. This includes the following: providing information regarding evidence applicable to your case, discussing the possible penalties for criminal and traffic offenses, entering into plea negotiations, and addressing any other matter related to the prosecution of a City of Grand Forks case. This information is only available to the person charged or their attorney. You can reach the City Prosecutor’s office at (701)787-8160 from 8:15 am until approximately 10:00 am.
    • Can I speak to the Judge by phone?
      No. The Judge can only speak to you in the court room while court is in session.
    • What if I’m unable to make my payment when required?
      If at any time you are unable to make your payment when scheduled, you must appear in court on or before the due date to make arrangements with the Judge. Click here for court times.
    • Why is there a warrant for my arrest?
      The Court will issue a warrant when:
      • You fail to comply with the Orders of the Judge.
      • You fail to make payments as promised.
      • You fail to appear on a charge which requires a mandatory appearance.
      NOTE: The Police will not arrest you if you come to Municipal Court to appear on a warrant, however if police have any contact with you prior to your appearance in Court and a warrant is active, they are required to arrest you.
    • What will my sentence be?
      On a class B misdemeanor the Judge can fine up to $1,500 and 30 days in jail, with the exception of Theft and Destruction of Public Property, which has a maximum penalty of $1,000 fine and 30 days in jail. If anyone indicates to you what sentence you will receive, keep in mind that is their opinion; the sentence imposed is the sole discretion of the Judge. If you enter in to a plea agreement, the judge may accept or reject the plea agreement.
    • When is Municipal Court in session?
    • Do you accept credit cards for payment of fines?
      Yes. We accept Visa, MasterCard and Discover for payments of fines and other traffic violations either by phone or in person. There is a $3.00 convenience fee when using a credit/debit card.

      We also accept cash, checks and money orders. Please make checks or money orders payable to City of Grand Forks. When posting bond to get someone out of jail, you must pay in cash or with a surety bond (bondsman) depending on the charge.
    • How to inquire about a Registered offender?
      If you have questions or information regarding sexual offenders or offenders against children, please contact Cpl. Brian Robbins.  A complete list of offenders may be viewed at sexoffender.nd.gov by clicking on the "Printable List of All Offenders."
    • Where can I pay a traffic ticket for Grand Forks Municipal Court?

      Where can I pay a traffic ticket for Grand Forks Municipal Court?

      Contact the Grand Forks Municipal Court (click here for contact information)
    • I need information about a civil case in Grand Forks County. Where can I get it?
      For questions involving civil, probate, child support, divorce, guardianship that occurred in Grand Forks County, contact the Grand Forks Clerk of District Court at (701) 787-2715.
  • Police Department
    • How to inquire about a Registered offender?
      If you have questions or information regarding sexual offenders or offenders against children, please contact Cpl. Brian Robbins.  A complete list of offenders may be viewed at sexoffender.nd.gov by clicking on the "Printable List of All Offenders."
  • Recycling
    • Where can I dispose of unusable or unwanted pesticides?
      Project Safe Send is a pesticide management program sponsored by the Department of Agriculture. The program is designed to accept unusable or unwanted pesticides from farmers and other individuals and properly dispose of them. For more information go to http://www.health.state.nd.us/wm/pss01.htm or contact Judy Carlson, North Dakota Department of Agriculture at #701-328-4997.

    • What do I do with used antifreeze?
      DO NOT pour antifreeze down the storm drains. Call #701-746-2570 for small quantities (less than 5 gallons). For larger quantities, please contact Safety-Kleen Systems Inc. at #701-237-9070, or OSI Environmental at #218-233-5446.

    • What do I do with left over household paint/paint cans?
      Paint must be dried out for disposal. To speed the drying process, add kitty litter, floor dry, sawdust, or newspaper strips to the cans, and leave the lids off. Once completely dry, the paint cans can be bagged up & put in with the regular trash.

    • How do I get rid of cooking grease that I don't want?

      Residents should throw cooled fats, oils and greases in the trash and not down the drain.  Pouring them down the drain will cause plumbing problems that will be your responsibility as the property owner.

    • What do I do with unused prescription drugs?

      The best disposal method is to drop off unused prescription drugs at the local Police Department (122 N. 5th Street).  This can be done anytime of day.  If the main office is locked, please use the red phone on the exterior of the building to explain to the personnel what you would like to do.  There is a drop box mounted on the wall of the Police Department main entrance.  The State of North Dakota created a Take Back Program where citizens have a safe and simple method to dispose of unused prescription drugs.  To learn more log onto http://www.ag.state.nd.us/

      Another option is to bring unused and expired medications to pharmacies across North Dakota that are participants of TakeAway, North Dakota's medication disposal program.  To learn more about what medications can be disposed of through TakeAway and to find a participating pharmacy near you, visit www.sharpsinc.com/locator

      If you need to dispose of unused prescriptions drugs and can not bring them to the local Police Department or an area pharmacy, please do not flush them down the toilet.  If you decide to dispose of them yourself, please remove the lables from the bottles and throw away the unused or expired medications separately from the labels.  It is best to crush or destroy the medication before throwing it away.

      Help us protect our water by disposing of these properly.

  • Sanitation
    • Where can I dispose of unusable or unwanted pesticides?
      Project Safe Send is a pesticide management program sponsored by the Department of Agriculture. The program is designed to accept unusable or unwanted pesticides from farmers and other individuals and properly dispose of them. For more information go to http://www.health.state.nd.us/wm/pss01.htm or contact Judy Carlson, North Dakota Department of Agriculture at #701-328-4997.

    • What do I do with used antifreeze?
      DO NOT pour antifreeze down the storm drains. Call #701-746-2570 for small quantities (less than 5 gallons). For larger quantities, please contact Safety-Kleen Systems Inc. at #701-237-9070, or OSI Environmental at #218-233-5446.

    • What do I do with left over household paint/paint cans?
      Paint must be dried out for disposal. To speed the drying process, add kitty litter, floor dry, sawdust, or newspaper strips to the cans, and leave the lids off. Once completely dry, the paint cans can be bagged up & put in with the regular trash.

    • How do I get rid of cooking grease that I don't want?

      Residents should throw cooled fats, oils and greases in the trash and not down the drain.  Pouring them down the drain will cause plumbing problems that will be your responsibility as the property owner.

    • What do I do with unused prescription drugs?

      The best disposal method is to drop off unused prescription drugs at the local Police Department (122 N. 5th Street).  This can be done anytime of day.  If the main office is locked, please use the red phone on the exterior of the building to explain to the personnel what you would like to do.  There is a drop box mounted on the wall of the Police Department main entrance.  The State of North Dakota created a Take Back Program where citizens have a safe and simple method to dispose of unused prescription drugs.  To learn more log onto http://www.ag.state.nd.us/

      Another option is to bring unused and expired medications to pharmacies across North Dakota that are participants of TakeAway, North Dakota's medication disposal program.  To learn more about what medications can be disposed of through TakeAway and to find a participating pharmacy near you, visit www.sharpsinc.com/locator

      If you need to dispose of unused prescriptions drugs and can not bring them to the local Police Department or an area pharmacy, please do not flush them down the toilet.  If you decide to dispose of them yourself, please remove the lables from the bottles and throw away the unused or expired medications separately from the labels.  It is best to crush or destroy the medication before throwing it away.

      Help us protect our water by disposing of these properly.

  • Spring Clean Up
    • What happens if you miss having things out (for Spring Clean up week) on your regular pickup day – is there any other way to dispose of things?
      Any time of the year, our residents can simply call in to request an extra collection for as little as $20 minimum charge. This is a convenient service and the fee is set to encourage proper waste handling and disposal methods
    • What about residents who live in apartments?
      If you live in an apartment and have things you would like the city to take during Spring Clean Up Week.  The city asks that you place those items on the berm next to the street NOT by the dumpsters where you normally take your garbage.  Crews work off the streets and alleys and will not pull into every parking lot for apartment complexes to pick up extra garbage during Spring Clean Up Week.
    • What about Computers/Electronics?
      The City of Grand Forks Recycling program as part of our agreement with the City’s recycling contractor holds a free annual Electronics Recycling Collection Event for the City’s residents. On Saturday, May 2ndd, from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., the City’s Public Works Facility will host the Electronics Recycling Collection drive-through full-service style event at 724 North 47th Street, in Grand Forks. Residents can bring one of each type of electronic item for recycling. For any larger quantities or businesses, please give us a call to make arrangements or get additional information for proper recycling/disposal.

      The items will be taken to our contractor’s Material Recovery Facility in Minneapolis for processing and marketing of the valuable materials/components, and proper disposal for the hazardous waste such as lead and mercury that are common constituents associated with electronics.
    • We have lots of trimming to do with our trees or whole trees to take down – will these go on clean up week?
      While the City will collect small quantities of branch clippings, large tree trunks and branch piles are difficult to handle for the City crews on clean up week. It takes all of our crews and equipment the entire week to collect the miscellaneous items and household quantities in a timely manner. Large tree and branch removal projects are the responsibility of the homeowner and should be contracted with private contractors who provide that level of service and have the appropriate equipment to dedicate to the project. There are several tree removal companies in Grand Forks who can be of assistance under private contract.
    • If you see your trash has been picked up…but your spring clean up stuff is still there, have your items been missed?
      In addition to the regular refuse collection trucks, we have several pieces of equipment collecting various types of clean up week materials for proper disposal. Separation in collection provides for recycling of metals/appliances, etc. so items will be picked up in varied timelines by the type and purpose of the equipment.
    • Are there self-haul options for residents or commercial/larger quantities?
      The landfill has extended operating hours from Saturday, May 2nd through Saturday May 9th (7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., excluding Sunday, May 3rdh) for self-hauling. Proof of residency such as a utility bill or driver’s license with current Grand Forks address will be required for reasonable household quantities at no charge during this week. Commercial or large quantities can be hauled to the landfill during this time or at any time of the year for a reasonable fee.
    • What about paint and other household chemicals?
      To dispose of waste paint, simply remove the lid, allow the paint to dry completely. To speed this process, add kitty litter, floor dry, sawdust, newspaper strips, and once dry, the paint cans can be bagged and go in with the trash on clean up week or any time throughout the year.

      For other household quantities of cleaning items or various chemicals, please box them up, and call our office (738-8740) for further instructions and/or disposal options depending on the type of waste. We will assist with disposal recommendations on a case-by-case basis.
    • What won't the city take during spring clean up?
      Because the process is paid for through our citizen's refuse fees, it is intended for reasonable household quantities related to spring cleaning.  The City will not take commercial quantities, large residential construction projects or large piles of tree stumps/branches.
    • Where & when do you put things for pickup during Spring Clean Up Week?
      Place your items by 7:00 am on your regular garbage day.  Place the items where you normally place your garbage can (whether on the berm or the alley).  Please leave room around your garbage can so the trucks can pick up the can with the can.  Different crews will be coming by to pick up your extra trash.
    • What can you throw away during Spring Clean Up Week?
      Household quantities of bulky and household items - items at the end of their useful life, such as appliances, furniture, junk, etc.
  • Water
    • How can I keep my pipes and meter from freezing during cold weather?

      1.  Cover all exposed pipes with insulation material.
      2.  If the meter freezes and breaks, the customer is responsible for all replacement costs as well as a $40 service charge.
      3.  If your water goes off due to frozen pipes, shut off the water at the meter to prevent any damage that may occur if the pipes break and then thaw.
      4.  Fill cracks, crevices or air holes that allow cold air to penetrate where the water pipe enters the house.
      5.  Allow a small stream of water, about the size of a pencil lead, to run from one faucet. 

    • How does the City know how much water I use?

      Each water and sewer account has a water meter to register water as it is used.  The meter connects to a remote device that sends the current meter reading to our mobile reading equipment when it is requested.  The collected data is downloaded to our billing computer.

    • Does the City of Grand Forks fluoridate?

      The City of Grand Forks adds a level of fluoride that will significantly reduce tooth decay.  The fluoride level is maintained at 1.2 ppm according to the North Dakota Department of Health guidelines.

      During an infant's check-up, the doctor may recommend a fluoride supplement if you use premixed formula or formula prepared with distilled water.  If you use Grand Forks water to prepare the formula, the supplement is not necessary.

    • Is it okay to wash paintbrushes out in the gutter?

      No. Paint is toxic to fish, and can have a negative effect on plant growth and on water bug reproduction.  Wash your brushes in your sink, using lots of water.  Wastewater is treated or placed in the lagoon,and does not run directly to our waterways.

    • Why can't I change the oil in my driveway and wash it down the storm drain?

      The substance that we put down our storm drains will eventually end up in our local waterways.  Stormwater is not treated, so it could be harmful to biological sources of these waterways. 

    • Where can I get my water tested?

      The City of Grand Forks has two environmental labs.  If you feel your water has a pollutant you can have it tested by the Wastewater Treatment Plant. For more information call 701-787-9131.  If it is a potable water sample that you need tested, you can contact the Environmental Lab located at the Water Treatment Plant, 701-746-2595 for more information. 

    • Who do I call if I notice someone dumping oil or another hazardous material down the drain?

      Call the Environmental Compliance Office at 701-738-8781 or 701-787-9134.

    • Who do I call if I notice a foreign substance in a local water body?

      Call the Environmental Compliance Office at 701-738-8781 or 701-787-9134.

    • Can I create a rain barrel, where do I get the supplies?

      Contact the Grand Forks County Soil Conservation District or log onto htt;://gfscd.org/rain_barrels.htm

    • What do I do with unused prescription drugs?

      The best disposal method is to drop off unused prescription drugs at the local Police Department (122 N. 5th Street).  This can be done anytime of day.  If the main office is locked, please use the red phone on the exterior of the building to explain to the personnel what you would like to do.  There is a drop box mounted on the wall of the Police Department main entrance.  The State of North Dakota created a Take Back Program where citizens have a safe and simple method to dispose of unused prescription drugs.  To learn more log onto http://www.ag.state.nd.us/

      Another option is to bring unused and expired medications to pharmacies across North Dakota that are participants of TakeAway, North Dakota's medication disposal program.  To learn more about what medications can be disposed of through TakeAway and to find a participating pharmacy near you, visit www.sharpsinc.com/locator

      If you need to dispose of unused prescriptions drugs and can not bring them to the local Police Department or an area pharmacy, please do not flush them down the toilet.  If you decide to dispose of them yourself, please remove the lables from the bottles and throw away the unused or expired medications separately from the labels.  It is best to crush or destroy the medication before throwing it away.

      Help us protect our water by disposing of these properly.

    • Where can I find information on Grand Forks drinking water quality?

      The Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) is a water quality report produced annually reporting on violations of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and North Dakota Department of Health (ND DH) regulations.  The document is mailed to water users, posted in public places such as the Grand Forks Library, City Hall and on the City website grandforksgov.com

    • Is Grand Forks water hard?

      The City of Grand Forks water has a hardness of 8-9 grains per gallon, which is considered moderately hard.  Hardness is caused by calcium and magnesium ions dissolved in the water.

    • What should I do if my water is discolored?

      Occasionally, you may experience discolored water.  This can result from the water system being used to fight a fire, higher than normal water usage throughout the City, pipes being disturbed by a water break or construction, or fire hydrant flushing.  These situations can disturb the deposits on the inside of the pipe resulting in discolored water.  Generally, the water will clear within a few hours.  During this time, do not run the water continuously.  Instead, check the cold water hourly by allowing it to run a few minutes to see if it has cleared.

      If the water remains discolored for a long period of time, contact the Water Department at 701-738-8770.

    • Why does the Water Department flush hydrants?

      The Water Department works with the Fire Department to flush hydrants once a year between June and October.  Hydrants are flushed to:

      1.  Clean out the iron deposits and other settlements that form on the sides of water lines.
      2.  Allow routine maintenance of every hydrant.  
      3.  Identify hydrants in need of repair.
      4.  Determine the volume of water available at each hydrant for fighting a fire.
      5.  Familiarize both water and fire department personnel with hydrant locations.
      6.  Provide important information for fire pre-planning.

    • What treatment does our water receive?

      Click here to see the treatment process for water for the City of Grand Forks.

    • How can I access the Water Quality results?

      Every year the Water Department prepares a Water Quality Report and mails it to all water customers.  The report is also available on this website.

    • Does Grand Forks water meet North Dakota Department of Health and EPA Standards?

      The City of Grand Forks routinely meets the compliance standards set by the EPA.

    • What does the City of Grand Forks check for in the water?
      • Bacteria - monthly - The utility is required to collect 60 or more samples for 30 defined sites throughout the month.
      • Trihalomethanes - quarterly
      • Volatile Organic Chemicals - yearly
      • Nitrates - yearly
      • Inorganics - every 3 years
      • Radiologicals - every 3 years
      • Synthetic Organic Chemicals - every 3 years
      • Iron and Manganese - every 5 to 8 years
      • Lead and Copper (at homes meeting EPA criteria) - every 3 years