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.

  • Audubon English Coulee Restoration Project

    • How long will the restoration take?

      Planning and vegetation restoration will take place over the next three years. This timetable may extend beyond three years if necessary. 
    • Trash:

      The city of Grand Forks clears trash from the box culverts under the roads crossing the coulee on a regular basis. Unfortunately, trash continues to collect under the culverts, backing up water and preventing water flow. Residents can help prevent blocked water flow by making sure their trash is properly bagged and within their container, as well as removing easily accessible trash along the coulee banks.
    • How is this project being funded?

      Funding for this project will be shared through partnership between the City of Grand Forks, Grand Forks Park District, and Dakota Audubon.
    • Why isn’t this being done along the entire coulee?

      At this time the pilot project is being done to determine what does and doesn’t work for management of the banks of the coulee. Limiting the area of work will keep the plan manageable and allow for adjustments due to costs or unforeseen soil conditions. Future plans include expanding the work area and demonstrating best management practices to adjacent property owners.
    • Why just this section of the English Coulee?

      This section of the English Coulee provided the opportunity to work with one property owner instead of multiple owners. The GF Park District is the sole land owner and also works closely with the city of GF on similar projects in other areas of the community. 
    • What is being done?

      The first step of the project will be to mow and spray the weeds along both sides of the coulee to identify the types of vegetation growing in this area. The second step will be to finalize all the legal agreements between the partner agencies so work can continue. Third step will be to work with Dakota Audubon and Prairie Restorations, Inc. to develop and execute a vegetation restoration plan.

    • What is the work area for this pilot project?

      The work area is from 17th Avenue South to 24th Avenue South, along both sides of the coulee.

    • What is the goal of this project?

      What is the goal of this project? 
      The goal of this pilot project is to manage weed growth and improve water flow through a section of the English Coulee. This will be done through a multipronged approach including mowing, spraying, and planting native grasses.

  • 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

    • How much are building permits?

      Permit costs depend on the anticipated cost of construction and whether they are Residential Permits or Commercial Permits. The anticipated cost should be the estimate of the labor and material to complete the proposed project with all electrical, mechanical and plumbing included. 

      To find a permit fee please see the Commercial Permit Fee List  or the One & Two Family Residential Permit Fee List .

    • What kind of permits are there and where do I get them?

      The most frequently required permits are Building Permits and they are obtained at the Inspections Department, located in Room 225 in City Hall. Other permits that can be obtained include: Moving, Demolition, Electrical, Mechanical, Plumbing, Sign, Parabolic Antennas, Driveway Construction, Excavations, Sidewalk Construction, Christmas Trees Sales, Temporary Buildings, Self-Wiring, Fire and Swimming Pool.

      For information on residential projects and permits, visit the Residential Projects page.

      For information on commercial projects and permits, visit the Commercial Projects page.

    • What are the off-street parking requirements?

      All housing units, regardless if they are owner occupied or rented, are required to have off-street parking. The minimum requirement is two parking spaces and then is increased with the number of bedrooms in the housing unit. 

    • On new connects, may a power supplier furnish electrical power before a wiring certificate is filed?

      No. A copy of an electrical wiring certificate must be filled with the power company before an electrical service is provided.

    • When do I need to obtain a plumbing permit?

      Permits are required before any alterations are made to an existing plumbing system or if a new system is installed. A plumbing system is defined as a system of water supply and distribution pipes, plumping fixtures, supports and appurtenances: soil, waste and vent pipes: sanitary drains and building sewers to an approved point of disposal.

    • When do I need to obtain a mechanical permit?

      Permits are required before any alterations are made to an existing mechanical system or if a new system is installed. A mechanical system is defined as a system that is specifically addressed and regulated by the code and is composed of components, devices, appliances and equipment. Some examples would be a furnace, exhaust fan, duct system, fireplace or vent system.

    • Do I need a contractor or can I do the work myself?

      Any building project other than in a homeowner's residence must be completed by a licensed and bonded contractor. All commercial and rental projects must be completed by a contractor.  A homeowner can construct a home themselves if they live in the newly constructed home for at least one year from the issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy.

    • How long are permits good for?

      Your permit only pertains to the work described on the permit application. Permits have a life of 180 days or as work continues. If you have further questions, please contact the Inspections Office.

    • Where is the Inspections Department located?

      The Inspections Department is located on the 2nd Floor of Grand Forks City Hall. City Hall is located in downtown Grand Forks at 255 N 4th St.

    • How do I know if my property is located in the City of Grand Forks' jurisdiction?

      The City of Grand Forks’ jurisdiction includes the city limits and a two-mile extraterritorial area outside the city limit line.  If you have a question regarding where this extra territorial area is please contact the Inspections Department.

    • When do I need a permit?

      The short answer: If you have to pound a nail.  When you are reshingling, residing, replacing windows, building a deck, pouring a new driveway or sidewalk and the list continues.  The easier question to answer is; when don’t I need a permit?  Sheds that are 120 square feet or less in area, fences 6’ and under in height, floor covering, wall covering and concrete on your residential property are the basic items that don’t require permits be issued.  There are still regulations for the location of sheds and fences that must be met.

    • Are the basic requirements of a rental unit different than that of an owner occupied single family home?

      Rental units are held to different standards, because someone occupies them other than the property owner or their family. They must meet certain minimum requirements before a Certificate of Occupancy will be issued. Some of the basics of these requirements are: proper egress, smoke detectors, electrical wiring, handrails and guardrails, heating equipment and hot water heating equipment to be correctly installed. 

      Reference Diagrams (not all requirements listed):

      Click here to view diagrams and specifications relating to the requirements.

    • How do I choose a contractor?

      While the City cannot specifically recommend a contractor, there are some guidelines you can follow when deciding who will perform the necessary work on your property.

      Make sure you hire a licensed contractor. In order to do work in the City of Grand Forks and its jurisdiction, the City does require all contractors to be licensed in the state of North Dakota and the City of Grand Forks. 

      You can visit the Secretary of State's website or call 1-800-352-0867 to find out this information. It may also be helpful to ask the North Dakota/Minnesota Better Business Bureau (1-800-646-6222 or website ) to see if any complaints have been filed against the contractor you are considering, and ask the contractor for references. You can also view the North Dakota State Attorney General's scam informational page and choosing a contractor .

    • What is an electrical wiring certificate?

      It is a document consisting of one or more copies certifying that certain electrical wiring and equipment was installed in conformity with the rules and regulations of the North Dakota Electrical Board.

      A certificate provides proof to the power supplier that an electrical installation to be connected has been made in conformity with approved methods of construction for safety to life and property.

      Section 43-09-21, North Dakota Century Code, provides: "...no electrical installation shall be connected for use until proof has been furnished to the person, firm, or corporation supplying electrical energy that such regulations have been complied with."

    • What is the Rental Inspection Program?

      The City of Grand Forks has had a Rental Inspection Program for over 40 years.  This program ensures rental units maintain health and safety codes.  All rental units are inspected every five years and a certificate of occupancy is re-instated when each unit meets minimum code requirements.

    • What is required of a rental unit?

      A Certificate of Occupancy is required when a property is going to be occupied by anyone other than the owner or their family members. With extended families this can include many variations of what is meant by "family members". One does not have to collect rent to make it necessary for a Certificate of Occupancy to be required. A housing unit must have appropriate bathroom facilities, kitchen facilities and a heating system. The heating system must maintain 68 degrees three feet above the floor in each occupied room and can not have mixed air with another housing unit. 

      Heating Requirement Illustration (PDF )

    • 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.

      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.

    • What do I need to know to get a permit?

      To obtain a building permit on your home that you live in is quite simple.  For basic general repairs and projects will need to have an estimate of the work and who is doing it.  If you are building a deck, an addition to the home, or a large remodel you will need to have a plan and a site plan for the work along with a cost estimate and who is doing the work.

    • Why are permit fees charged for the enforcement of the code and on what basis are these fees determined?

      Fees are collected to defer the costs associated with code administration and enforcement. These fees can cover a portion or all of the costs experienced by the department. If it is determined that only some of the costs incurred will be covered by the collection of fees, the remaining cost of operating the department must be covered by other means - i.e. taxes.

      The building permit fees charged by the City of Grand Forks are determined by evaluating the costs incurred and the level of service to be delivered. Also, the City has looked at what other cities charge and has come up with what it thinks is a fair fee schedule. The fees charged for commercial buildings are more than the much lower fee schedule utilized for one and two family residential buildings.

    • How do I become a licensed contractor?

      The first step to become a licensed contractor to do work in the City of Grand Forks’ jurisdiction is to make sure you have a State of North Dakota license and contact the Building Inspections Department for the licensing requirements for the type of contractor you wish to do work in.  The City does have its own licensing requirements for General, Electrical, Mechanical, Plumbing, Moving, Excavating, Sign Hanger and Driveway/Sidewalk Contractors.  In order to become a licensed contractor in the City’s jurisdiction, a performance bond will also be required.

    • When is a electrical wiring certificate required?

      All electrical installations, including new work and additional work on old installations made in this city and state, shall have an electrical wiring certificate submitted by the master or Class B Electrician supervising the installation.  (24.1-05-01-01)

    • Who files the wiring certificate with the power supplier?

      Whenever a North Dakota licensed Master or Class "B" electrician makes an installation they are required by law to file the certificate and provide the owner with a copy for their file.

      On a self-wired installation, the owner must make an application for inspection to:

      City Electrical Inspector, City of Grand Forks, P.O. Box 1518, Grand Forks, North Dakota, 58206-1518.

      Once the installation is inspected and approved, a certificate will be filed by the electrical inspector. If the installation is not approved, no certificate will be issued and the owner will be asked to make the necessary changes and request another inspection.

    • What is a rental unit?

      A rental unit is a housing unit that is occupied by someone other than the owner of the property or a family member of the property owner.  A housing unit is a habitable area that contains minimum living facilities to include a bathroom, kitchen and living areas.  They can be multiple family units (3 plex or greater) or one and two family dwellings.

    • Why are rental licenses required?

      The City of Grand Forks created the rental licensing program in response to concerns expressed by the public.  The City Council studied these questions and adopted the licensing program.  Rental licensing allows for the City to have a mechanism to coordinate with landlords, managers and tenants.  A rental license is required for one and two family rental units only and is renewed yearly.

    • What is the City's responsibility regarding rental units?

      The City of Grand Forks is very proactive in the area of rental inspection compliance and insists that all rental units maintain a Certificate of Occupancy. We have a mandatory system that is enforced to the highest level possible including citing property owners in municipal court for non-compliance or requiring the unit be left vacant. The City has no authority over the aesthetics of the property. If the property has junk or a junk vehicle the City will make sure that issue is resolved before a Certificate of Occupancy is granted. Many times these issues on renter occupied properties are easier to resolve than on owner occupied properties. The landlord will make the tenant get rid of the non-compliance item because they know they are the ones responsible for their own property. 

    • How many individuals can occupy a rental unit?

      Four or less individuals that are unrelated can occupy each housing unit. There is no limit to the number of family members who can live in a housing unit. 

  • Municipal Court

    • Does the Judge in Municipal Court perform weddings?

      • The Judge will perform weddings on Mondays at 10:15 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 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."
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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?

    • 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."
  • Potholes

    • How long will the current pothole fixes last?

      Currently the street crews are only doing temporary fixes to potholes in Grand Forks because the temperatures are too cold for a more permanent fix.  Once the temperatures warm up, crews will start doing permanent fixes to the potholes that should last through the year.
    • How many potholes are filled each day?

      Over the past weeks, we are averaging about 200 potholes filled and refilled each day, but more recently, due to our increased efforts, we are averaging close to 250 a day.  As we have added more crews and the weather warms up we will do less potholes as the mix cements and repairs the holes.

    • What about this brine that has been put on the roads?

      The brine mixture with corrosion reduction additive is a salt based product that offers a layer of proactive protection reducing snow and ice build-up on the roadways.  It is a key safety program for main arterials and on large bridge decks like Columbia road and Demers Avenue.  

       With better tire traction on roads with higher speeds, the intent is to reduce accidents and costs related to equipment blades and fuel to move and cut snow and ice that adheres and builds upon the pavement.  Potholes occur in areas where the brine is or isn't used.  Potholes that we are patching now are due to gradual deterioration of the upper and lower roadbed causing a variety of pavement conditions - from sharp potholes to alligator cracking. 

    • Where are the crews working?

      We have crews throughout the city addressing potholes on Demers Avenue, South Washington, Library Lane, 17th Avenue South, 24th Avenue South, South 21st Street, University Avenue, 32nd Avenue and Cherry Street and other areas. 

      Residents can check on grandforksgov.com/potholes for the Grand Forks City map identifying areas of work for potholes that need repair.  To report your concern use the GF311 app on Apple or Android or by calling the Public Information Center at 311.

    • Didn’t we pass a sales tax to take care of the streets?

      Yes. The sales tax collection begins this April 1, 2018, and a portion of the tax will be dedicated to street maintenance.  The City is in the process of purchasing updated equipment - a single operator unit with in-cab injection controls and a trailer mounted unit, for a combination of efficient pothole filling, linear patching, and crack sealing capabilities to extend the life of the City’s newer pavement for years to come.So our early season temporary patching will keep traffic moving until the pavement heats up and can bond with longer lasting patching materials - Mid-May to June. 

    • How many people does the City have working on potholes?

      For the past week, we have dedicated 4 crews-3 day shift and 1 night shift, with a total of 16 people to address the worst potholes and keep traffic moving.  Weather plays a factor as this effort requires drying and heating the pothole and applying materials to set up.  

       

    • Does the City fix streets in general?

      Yes.  In fact, the city has been discussing the need for road maintenance for decades.

      The solution to road maintenance and reconstruction requires large amounts of money.  Federal and State aid for roads have been declining for years. The millions of dollars the city allocates for roads have not been able to keep up with the needs. Leaving us with limited resources to maintain the current road system.

      With the passage of the sales tax, we will roughly double the amount we spend on rehab and reconstruction projects this summer.

      We have an ambitious list of road projects and pending construction bids, plan for a big summer of road construction.

    • How long does it take to fill a pot hole?

      It takes about 30- 60 minutes depending on the size and depth of the pothole damage. The bigger the hole, the more time is needed. 

      • The pothole area is physically cleaned of loose particles with a large pick in the hole.
      • Then a heating propane torch goes into the pothole to thaw the area until warmed.
      • The mix is prepared and patted into the hole.
      • Shaping of the mix so that it is flat with the hole.
      • Move to the next hole, repeat.
    • How does the City fix potholes?

      Street crews are working with various materials and mixes for early season pothole patching until higher temps allow for bonding of pavement and patching materials for a more durable repair.

      Our short-term action consists of a “Cold Mix Repair” this is used if the temperature is below 35 degrees. This happens typically between March to May and includes an asphalt material mix of fine aggregate and oil. The priorities here are to address sharp or deep potholes in the wheel paths. These can last as short as a couple of days to about a week and the process will have to be repeated until a more permanent patch can be implemented.

      The next action is to apply a “Hot Mix Repair” with asphalt materials made of medium aggregate/various oil mixtures and/or oil/granite mixtures, when the temperature is above 35 degrees consistently.  The priorities with this process are the “alligator” cracks, larger surface cracks and major/minor potholes.  This takes place in the May-August timeframe.

      A variation of the Hot and Cold Mix Repair is being used on sections of University Avenue where there are multiple surface cracks and potholes.  They are using hot tar added to layered rock & tar into the pothole opening.  This has been effective on University Avenue in the past 24 hours and we continue to monitor the hold.  

  • Proposed Sales Tax

    • Why is the sunset on the proposed sales tax 50 years?

      The proposed sales tax is a multi-generational tax.  Meaning that the money from this tax can be used on more than just what we need today.  For example the New Water Treatment Plant is a facility that is expected to last for 50 years.  The Red River Valley Water Supply project will provide water stability for the region in times of a drought for many years.  Money brought in with this tax also allows the city to be more proactive in road development as opposed to reactive.

      The money from this proposed sales tax is for big ticket items like the water treatment plant.  Large projects like that take many years to pay off.  Normally the pay off for large projects like this is 30 years.  In order to get these bonds (loans) the city needs to prove they have a revenue source to cover the bond.  This proposed tax gives the city the opportunity to go after those bonds.

      A 50 year sunset to the tax gives officials the needed time to plan for the future and have the resources to cover our costs.


    • How does our current sales tax breakdown?

      Our current 1.75% sales tax breaks down as follows:

      1% goes to General Fund (49.5%), Infrastructure (30%), and Economic Development (20.5%)
      .75% goes to the Alerus Center (this portion of the sales tax will sunset in 2029)

      CLICK HERE for more information on our current sales tax.


    • Why do we need a new water treatment facility?

      The current plant, located next to the river, has been providing clean, safe drinking water for 60 years.  However, increasing future U.S. EPA regulations, limited footprint for expansion and new technology, and water quantity needs has necessitated a new regional water treatment facility to address these issues and other issues related to aging infrastructure be built in undeveloped area away from the river.
    • Who will oversee how the sales tax revenue is spent?

      The City Council will review and approve infrastructure sales tax projects before any monies are appropriated.
    • What is the Red River Valley Water Supply Project?

      The Red River Valley Water Supply project is a state backed project that secures supplemental water for the central and eastern side of the state during times of drought.
    • How much revenue is expected to be raised with a new sales tax?

      The proposed infrastructure sales tax is projected to produce about $7.75 Million every year.
    • How long will the proposed sales tax last?

      If passed the proposed infrastructure sales tax would end in April of 2067.
    • What can the proposed sales tax revenue be spent on?

      The infrastructure sales tax can only be used for water infrastructure, specifically the New Regional Water Treatment Facility and Red River Valley Water Supply Project, and for street improvements and rehabilitation as well as extension projects.
    • How much of an increase is this sales tax proposal?

      This sales tax proposal is an increase of .75% and will bring the city's total sales tax rate to 2.5%.  So on a $100 purchase the sales tax rate would increase from $1.75 to $2.50.
    • Can this sales tax be used for a new library?

      The proposed sales tax cannot be appropriated for a new library.When the library discussion is at the appropriate point to talk funding, this will be a community-wide decision outside the realm of this critical infrastructure sales tax.
  • 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.

  • Special Election Nov. 2017

    • What will the ballot look like for this special election?

      SAMPLE BALLOT FOR WEB - REVISED
    • How do I get and absentee ballot?

      The County Auditor’s Office is handling absentee balloting for the election. 

       

                              County phone number:   780-8200

                              County Address:  151 S 4th Street, First Floor

    • How does absentee balloting work?

      A voter can go into the county office and vote on site or request a ballot through the mail.  You can also ask someone to be an “agent” and pickup and deliver a ballot for you.  You can only be an agent for 4 or fewer people. 

      Step 1:  Fill out an application for an absentee ballot and return it to the County. 

      Step 2:  The County will send the ballot to the voter.

      Step 3:  Voter completes the absentee ballot and returns it to the County. 

                    If returning by mail, the ballot must be postmarked the day before the election or earlier.

                    If returning your own ballot in person, the ballot must be brought to the County Auditor by the day before the election.  

    • When can I get an absentee ballot for this special election?

      All other voters can obtain a ballot starting September 28. 

      Overseas and Military voters can obtain a ballot starting September 22

    • Where do I vote on election day for the special election on the proposed sales tax?

      All Wards and Precincts will vote at the Alerus Center, 1200 S. 42nd St.

      Polls will be open from 7:00 am - 7:00 pm on Tuesday, November 7, 2017

    • When is the special election on the proposed sales tax?

      The special election on the proposed sales tax in Grand Forks is Tuesday, November 7, 2017.

      Polls will be open from 7:00 am - 7:00 pm

      All Wards and Precincts will vote at the Alerus Center.

  • Spring Clean Up

    • Are there self-haul options for residents or commercial/larger quantities?

      The landfill has extended operating hours from Saturday, April 29th through Saturday May 6th (7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., excluding Sunday, April 30th) 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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 $25 minimum charge. This is a convenient service and the fee is set to encourage proper waste handling and disposal methods
    • 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 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, April 29, 2017, 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 Wisconsin 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.
    • 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.
    • 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