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Grand Forks planning for housing growth west of I-29

The city of Grand Forks has calculated more details on its long-term streets-and-sewers plan for the west end, including new housing expected west of Interstate 29.

The area south of the new Walmart in the city’s northwest is mostly vacant now, but city staff believes that it will eventually be 57 percent residential, 25 percent commercial and 18 percent industrial, according to a report given at a recent City Council work session.

The I-29 South area, a now mostly-vacant area southwest of the 32nd Avenue South freeway exit, will be 50 percent residential and 50 percent commercial.

Residents’ monthly wastewater and stormwater bills would increase incrementally to help pay for the new infrastructure.

According to the report, the wastewater bill would increase by $0.19 cents in 2015, $0.70 in 2016, $0.67 in 2017 and $0.70 in 2018. The stormwater bill would increase by $0.11 in 2015, $0.26 in 2016, $0.39 in 2017 and $0.44 in 2018.

Some sales tax funds set aside for economic development and state highway funds will also help pay for the infrastructure.

City staff expects infrastructure to cost about $6.5 million in the Walmart area, $4.4 million for I-29 South, $2.6 million for the industrial area northeast of Walmart, $6 million for the industrial area northwest of Walmart and $8 million for the area around the Simplot potato plant north of Gateway Drive.

It’s important for the city to strategically build its infrastructure so it “can be more ready to go as opportunities (for growth) come forward,” City Administrator Todd Feland said.

The infrastructure implementation plan extends through 2018, but Feland said the work could start as early as this year.

Charly Haley
Charly Haley covers city government for the Grand Forks Herald. As night reporter, she also has many general assignments. Before working at the Herald, she was a reporter at the Jamestown Sun and interned at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, Detroit Lakes Newspapers and the St. Cloud Times. Haley is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead, and her hometown is Sartell, Minn.
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