In a meeting that challenged an informal mark for quickness, East Grand Forks City Council members approved some routine bits of city financial business.
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Council members on Tuesday quickly and unanimously approved a "comprehensive annual financial report" – another phrase for an audit – of the city government’s 2020 finances, which reported no major errors or other problems, as well as a new agreement between the city, American Crystal Sugar and Wells Fargo Bank that replaces $11.5 million worth of bonds the agricultural cooperative sold under the city’s aegis in 2016. City Administrator David Murphy said city attorneys have made assurances that the agreement does not put a financial obligation on the city. Grand Forks' city government has made similar moves for Altru Health System.
Finance Director Karla Anderson said she wasn’t sure what’s different between the now-old agreement and the current one, but language in the resolution council members approved indicates that it refinances that loan. A Crystal Sugar representative was at the council meeting to answer questions, but no council members asked any.
The meeting lasted about 16 minutes and 30 seconds. On a still-hot microphone after the meeting, council members and city staff could be heard joking that it approached a 6-minute record for time that was set when former council member Chad Grassel ran a meeting while filling in for council President Mark Olstad a year or two ago.
In related news Tuesday, council members:
- Approved a parade application for a Potato Bowl Parade on Saturday, Sept. 18, which will require closing the Sorlie Bridge that day.
- Approved American Legion Post #157’s request for a temporary liquor license for a private party scheduled for Saturday, July 10, at Heritage Village in northerly East Grand Forks.
- Accepted an unspecified amount of money from the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, which is part of the American Rescue Plan Act. City Administrator Murphy told the Herald that the city had already received and apportioned that money, which he said totaled about $350,000, and the resolution was a formality.