Grand Forks Public Health Department


Thursday, January 20, 2011

I. Call Meeting to Order

The meeting was called to order at 12:18 p.m. by Don Shields.

Members Present: Col. Jane Denton, Mark Lambrecht, Tara Dupper, Craig Knudsvig, Kate Kenna, Margaret Tweten, Dr. James Hargreaves, and Don Shields. Others present: Irene Dybwad (GF County Social Sevices), and Keith Westerfield (Public Health). Don S. introduced Shawn McBride, the North East Regional Epidemiologist for North Dakota; and Kristie Hegg, Administrative Specialist for Public Health.

II. Old Business

A. Review and Approval of Minutes of October 21, 2010 Meeting: Minutes were motioned and approved with no changes.

B. Grand Forks “Detox” Community Facility Initiative Update: Kate Kenna, Northeast Human Service Center (NEHSC) gave the latest update.

· All the partners who have been working on the detox committee remain committed. The Grand Forks Rescue Mission is still very interested in running the social detox program. The committee is still looking at using the old county jail, and checking to see if there is office space to allow staff from the mission to be there during the daytime. If the mission had an office there, they would have someone in the building during potentially slower times, and be available if needed. There has been a lot of discussion on whether the detox center needs to be staffed for 24, 18, or 12 hours. This decision would impact the staffing costs.

· Overall the project is still moving forward, but not as fast as some would hope. The project was thought to have stopped permanently for awhile. An interesting article in the Fargo Forum showed that with long-term housing for the homeless, the number of Fargo’s detox cases dropped by one-third with the availability of this stable housing.

· Don S. added that the Mission is a very good partner, who is willing to come on board and be the front line for social detox in Grand Forks. There are funding issues that a number of partners, from Altru to NEHSC, want to come to the table to narrow it down. Rick Duquette and Ed Nierode are working with the City Council and County Commission to try to bring this commitment together.

C. Health Care Access Meeting, and Potential Grand Forks Community Health Center: Don S. gave an update on the Community Health Center.

· Meetings have taken place in September and December to discuss healthcare access. Several issues were identified, such as how do you help people who are uninsured or underinsured access healthcare?

· They are looking at pursuing a planning grant that is available with the federal government. The City of Grand Forks is looking at being the fiscal agent for a one-year planning grant to be awarded in August, 2011. The Valley Community Health Center office in Northwood, who also runs the Community Dental Clinic in downtown Grand Forks, said they would be a partner in a Community Health Center in Grand Forks.

· There are a lot of rules, such as where you can put the clinic and who it can serve. You have to go through a planning process to make sure you can be eligible for federal funding. It is looking positive, and the group is meeting again on Friday, January 21, 2011.

III. New Business

A. Presentation, “Grand Forks Library Update”: Susan Nickelson, President of the Grand Forks Library Board, and Wendy Wendt, Director of the Grand Forks Library gave a presentation on “Library Project Update” (see attachment).

· To some people, a library is just about books. She encourages them to look beyond the books. For years libraries have done more than just warehouse books. Libraries are clearly something that has a great connectivity to the community. People become passionate about their library, and she believes they change people’s lives.

· The Library Board is supplemented by the Library Task Force, which is comprised of people much like you. When the task force was formed in June 2009, they were looking for a representation of various skills and backgrounds that they could draw from in the process. There are engineers and architects, along with mothers that come to the library everyday with their children.

· The Building Committee has been in place for about two months. They are a necessity as the project moves toward end results. Professional people are needed who are specifically guiding the building process, and working closely with the Library Task Force.

· The process at times has been a vision, but many times there have been obstructions. They have been working on this project for three years. The goal however, has always stayed the same. That goal is to provide a library for the 21st Century for Grand Forks.

· The current library was constructed in 1972 with the intention that in 25 years it would be reassessed for remodeling, etc. Twenty-five years later is 1997 and Grand Forks had their flood. Discussions were put off until later, but it was not brought up again until 2005. Unfortunately, there was not any money for the project at that time. It was readdressed in July 2009, but the Library Director, Dennis Page, died and discussions were put on hold again until 2010.

· The Library Task Force hired Library Consulting, P.A. from Minneapolis, Minnesota to put together a Needs Assessment Report (see attachment).

· A list of 25 sites that were suggested was evaluated and ranked to get the six finalist sites, and then down to three final sites. The library started a “Speak Up for Your Library” opportunity with ten days of intense community involvement. The community could weigh-in with a variety of ways; writing letters to the editor, calling in on morning talk shows, or visiting the library’s web site and blog. A phone research project was also done, with 580 people in the community contacted for their opinions. A community survey on the three sites showed the Leever’s property was favored by 73% of those surveyed.

· The task force gave another presentation to City Council in December 2010. City Council wanted a more in-depth study done on the three final sites, plus a study to remodel the current library. The task force wanted to bring back the option of demolition of the current library and building new.

· PSA-Dewberry is the lead architectural team that was hired. They are library experts, who build libraries. Rick McCarthy, from Illinois, is the architect for the project. Things that they found intriguing about his background were that he is the President of the Library Board in Muncie, Illinois, and he knows how to build libraries.

· The architect was given four site scenarios to study. They presented their report on the final site to the Library Task Force. Once approved by the Library Board, all the information will be available on the library’s website. The Library Task Force will present the final results of the report to City Council on January 31st.

B. Member Update:

· Don S. – The initial Flood Forecast came out yesterday. The National Weather Service is forecasting levels similar to 2009 in planning for the flood. As it gets closer to flooding, we will provide updates to the Mayor’s Cabinet group on what is happening on a daily basis. The University of North Dakota (UND) is currently engaged with the state to put an aid shelter in their field house. Hopefully we will have a slow melt.

· Colonel Jane D. – She has 200 boxes of books in her personal library, and nothing can replace holding a book. Kids love libraries!

· Tara D. – New American Services are having a busy first quarter again. They have received 22 New Americans so far this first quarter. The federal fiscal year ended in October with 93 New Americans, and they expect about the same this year. Since their last meeting, a new staff member specialist was hired. They are seeing a lot of success with the new families.

· Craig K. – Housing Authority has been busy with a lot of requests for Rental Assistance Programs. Not so much demand with Home Ownership Programs since there has been considerable changes. The federal budget is still an issue, as they currently do not have a budget for this year. They are developing a Community Land Trust, which would be a non-profit entity, separate from them. It will provide another avenue for an affordable housing program, where the cost of land does not have such a huge impact.

· Kate K. – Human Services is working on their budget with the Legislature. There is worry about flooding in Devils Lake and how that is going to affect that community and communities around here. Last year in Devils Lake there were 300 trucks running 24/7 building up the roads. This summer there will be 1,000 trucks hauling dirt and clay, but the city does not have the housing capacity.

· Margaret T. – This fall, the North Dakota State University (NDSU) Extension Service conducted 20 Bush Foundation Listening Sessions in North Dakota. Demographics came up as the number one issue, referring to displacement of baby boomers. There are not enough individuals in our state currently to do the jobs that will need to be done down the road. The second item was education, followed by public health care. When that information is put together, the Bush Foundation will share that with key stakeholders, to see how we can use our dollars to address the issues identified. Another big impacting issue is a law that came about in the 1990s by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) which says that facilities that have over 1,000 gallons of gas or diesel fuel need to comply with spill containment containers. They did not realize “facilities” referred to farms. By June 2011, farmers that have 1,000 gallons of fuel (oil), have to have a spill containment plan and have barriers/containers of some kind in place. Farmers in Tier III need to have professional engineers sign off on their plans. There are not a lot of professional engineers in the state of North Dakota. The EPA is sending out people this summer to check on this compliance.

· Irene D. – The Child Advocacy Center is up and running. There will be an open house soon at Saint Mary’s School. Grand Forks County Social Services will be responsible for doing the risk assessments.

IV. Other: None

V. Adjournment – The meeting was adjourned at 1:25 p.m.

VI. Next Meeting: Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 12:00 noon
Altru Hospital (Lower level, Multi-media room) Conference Room
(Lunch will be provided by Altru Health System).

1. Library Project Update presentation
2. A 21st Century Library pamphlet
3. Grand Forks Public Library Needs Assessment, dated 23 November 2011