Wade Rupard is a reporter for The Grand Forks Herald. Rupard is a 2014 graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism and is originally from Normal, Ill.
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On his final day presiding over the City Council, longtime East Grand Forks Mayor Lynn Stauss spent his morning cleaning out the items from an office only he had called home. As part of the city's rebuilding process after the Flood of 1997, the city decided to build an impressive City Hall — one, when compared to other government buildings in similar-size towns, that stands out. The $7 million building was nicknamed the "Taj Mahal" by some. But to Stauss, the building with its grand entrance, winding stairs and dome was a sign of the city's rebirth.
As a bicycle commuter, I have problems getting to and from work. Who is responsible for removing snow from the sidewalks in front of businesses and houses? Grand Forks residents and business owners are responsible for clearing snow from the sidewalks, and those who do not remove snow from the sidewalks could be subject to a fine from the city.
A Minnesota tax cut bill that's expected to be proposed once the legislative session kicks off Tuesday could have a major impact on East Grand Forks. The new bill, which is expected to be follow much of the proposed 2016 Minnesota tax legislation, would include increased state aid to local governments. East Grand Forks City Administrator David Murphy said if the 2016 bill had passed, the city would have received about $100,000 from the state for its Local Government Aid fund.
A group of researchers in Grand Forks can now fly unmanned aircraft to new lengths—beyond what their eyes can see. The Federal Aviation Administration has granted permission to the Northern Plains UAS Test Site to conduct beyond-visual-line-of-sight operations at Grand Sky technology park on Grand Forks Air Force Base.
On a sunny summer day most people can only dream of in the dead of winter, Ali Karpenko might find herself driving past Grand Forks' Sertoma Park. Though Karpenko doesn't make it out to the park as much as she'd like, she's still taken aback by seeing people of all ages enjoying themselves in a park she helped bring to life some seven years ago. "I can't comprehend when I go by there that I was part of it," she said.
The city of Crookston is on the lookout for a new mayor after current Mayor Gary Willhite was forced to resign because he cannot hold two elected offices at the same time. "He did a nice job as mayor," City Administrator Shannon Stassen said. "We're very happy for him, but he can't serve in both capacities, so we're looking for a mayor." Willhite was elected to the Polk County Board of Commissioners in November. State statute prohibits one person from holding two elected offices at the same time, so Crookston is looking at options to replace him.
East Grand Forks residents with backyard ice rinks this winter are now eligible for a discount on their sewer bills. The new policy will allow East Grand Forks homeowners to flood rinks on personal property without paying sewer charges on water used for the rinks. The city makes similar concessions for those using sprinklers to water lawns, determining the average sewer use from November to May and charging residents that amount instead of their actual summer usage.
Why is there a temporary four-way stop at North Fifth Street and University Avenue? Is this permanent? The four-way stop at the intersection of North Fifth Street and University Avenue is only temporary, and a new traffic signal should be going up soon.
The city of East Grand Forks hosted an event Tuesday afternoon to honor outgoing Mayor Lynn Stauss and City Council member Craig Buckalew, who both are retiring from city government. Stauss served as mayor for 21 years and helped the city through the devastating Flood of 1997 and the city’s rebuilding efforts. Steve Gander will replace Stauss, who announced in July he would not seek re-election due to health reasons.
In its final scheduled meeting of the calendar year, the East Grand Forks City Council on Tuesday approved the city’s final 2017 budget. In a 6-1 vote, the council passed the budget, which includes an 18 percent property tax levy increase. Council member Clarence Vetter was the lone dissenting vote. The levy increase will add about $700,000 to the city budget over last year’s levy. The move is intended, in part, to help increase city reserves, also known as its fund balance.