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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The Grand Forks Planning and Zoning Commission granted preliminary approval for multi-family housing northwest of Columbia Mall Wednesday, despite concerns including traffic at a nearby roundabout. The 15-acre, L-shaped lot, adjacent to the mall's northwest corner, is owned by GK Development Inc., which also owns the mall, according to a city staff report.
The Grand Forks City Council approved Monday a letter of intent for the city to pursue a national rail safety training center in Grand Forks. The letter, signed by Mayor Mike Brown and City Council President Dana Sande, states the city intends to apply for national grants on the project, SERTC North, which would be the second emergency response training center of its kind in the U.S. SERTC North would be modeled after the Security and Emergency Response Training Center, known as SERTC, in Pueblo, Colo. SERTC is a private training service and is a part of the Association of American Railroad
Grand Forks Airport Executive Director Patrick Dame has resigned to work at an airport in South Dakota. Dame's resignation is effective Sept. 11, after which he will move to the Rapid City (S.D.) Regional Airport as executive director. "Leaving Grand Forks was a very tough decision for us to make," Dame said Monday. He said his family loves Grand Forks, but the Rapid City job is "a great opportunity to grow my career and to be able to work at another great airport." Dame, who is originally from Anoka, Minn., said he began his career as an airport manager in Brookings, S.D., in 2005.
An area near downtown Grand Forks declared as "slum and blight" can be redeveloped with a property tax exemption after a City Council decision Monday. The council granted a 10-year tax increment financing exemption to Dakota Commercial and Development Co., for an apartment building planned along University Avenue between North Eighth Street and North Ninth Street. The 10-year incentive will allow Dakota Commercial to pay property taxes based on the property's current land value for six years, and the exemption then decreases by 20 percent each year for the following four years. Without an e
Hundreds of people gathered at the Grand Forks city impound lot Saturday to bid on bikes, cars and other items during the police department's annual auction. When the auction started at about 10 a.m., the impound lot was full of about 50 cars, many of which were dented from crashes.
Grand Forks residents could pay the most expensive utility bills in the state if the city doesn't find another funding source to offset the costs of upcoming infrastructure projects. An alternate funding source being heavily considered by city officials is a sales tax increase.
While Grand Forks is working on plans for a new library, the city of Fargo completed its new libraries in 2009. Fargo residents approved a half-cent sales tax in 2004, with 62 percent of voters favoring the new libraries, according to Forum News Service archives. That vote resulted in a new main library being built in downtown Fargo in 2009, along with two satellite libraries—the Northport Library in north Fargo, which opened in 2006, and the Dr.
In Billings, Mont., library books used to be available on rows of tall shelves in a warehouse with poor lighting. That warehouse wasn't for storage—it was the city's public library. In the mid-2000s, Billings officials decided the library, built in 1955, wasn't sufficient anymore. "It worked when people thought the future of libraries was to get bigger and hold more books," but with the library incorporating Internet and other technology in recent decades, "the warehouse was not good anymore," said Bill Cochran, director of the Billings Public Library. Grand Forks faces a similar p
Each week, Herald reporter Charly Haley answers your questions about local government, laws and other local topics.
As Grand Forks grows, the demand on local public safety departments is increasing with more crimes and more emergency calls. The city is planning to hire more police officers, 911 dispatchers and firefighters to meet this demand, but some officials question whether this will solve a potential gap between the city's growth and public safety resources. "Overall, we are still a safe community, but we're matching a national trend in some types of increased crimes," Police Chief Mark Nelson said.