ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

City council approves several shared infrastructure projects for Fufeng/Highway 81 area

The services include work on expanding the sanitary sewer collection system; expanding the storm sewer collection system; sanitary lift stations along with forcemain for domestic and industrial users in the area; and stormwater pond outfall and discharge infrastructure

Grand Forks City Hall
Grand Forks City Hall, 255 N. 4th St. Sam Easter / Grand Forks Herald
We are part of The Trust Project.

GRAND FORKS — Several shared infrastructure services, related to wastewater treatment and raw water supply, for the Fufeng/Highway 81 area were approved by council members during Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

The infrastructure services were presented to council members and received preliminary approval during the Aug. 22 Committee of the Whole meeting . The services include work on expanding the sanitary sewer collection system; expanding the storm sewer collection system; sanitary lift stations along with forcemain for domestic and industrial users in the area; and stormwater pond outfall and discharge infrastructure.

Some of the services are anticipated to be implemented throughout the next three years and are meant to serve the proposed wet corn mill plant, which would be operated by Fufeng Group, as well as serve the existing properties near Highway 81, including current and future industrial and commercial developments in the area.

Last week Mayor Brandon Bochenski said the city will pause construction on Fufeng-specific infrastructure after a federal panel reviewing the proposed plant says it needs more information before it can determine whether the Chinese-owned agribusiness poses any risk to national security.

In a previous interview, City Administrator Todd Feland said the temporary halt of Fufeng-specific infrastructure means putting some infrastructure projects on hold while other work, including a water main and a stormwater retention pond, will go forward because they will be shared by Fufeng and other developments in the area. Feland told the council that all the infrastructure services on the agenda Tuesday are for shared use.

ADVERTISEMENT

Council members Ken Vein and Rebecca Osowski were the two council members who dissented to most or all items related to infrastructure services for the Fufeng/Highway 81 area. Council member Bret Weber was absent.

On Tuesday council members also approved the final design and a bidding phase engineering services agreement for Phase Two design for the expansion of the city’s wastewater treatment facility. The engineering services agreement is with AE2S for $5.12 million.

While work for the expansion of the facility will move forward whether the wet corn mill plant is built or not, Feland said the expansion of it will vary depending on the fate of Fufeng.

“We need to move forward, but maybe the scale of that we may have to consider,” Feland said.

Some Fufeng-specific infrastructure projects Feland pointed out during Tuesday’s meeting include infrastructure projects on segments of Highway 2 and Highway 81. Though the North Dakota Department of Transportation has committed to support those projects since the proposed work is on state highways, Feland said if Fufeng doesn’t move forward NDOT wouldn’t move forward with those projects either.

Other Fufeng-specific infrastructure services include improvements on a raw water intake and pump station.

READ MORE GRAND FORKS CITY COUNCIL NEWS
More than a year after it was first announced, the council on Monday voted 5-0 to move away from the Fufeng project. Council members Kyle Kvamme and Tricia Lunski did not attend the meeting.

In other news Tuesday, council members:

Approved an ordinance to establish a Tech Accelerator Advisory Board for the Tech Accelerator that will be located in the Herald building. The Tech Accelerator is estimated to be substantially complete by November. The board will advise the Jobs Development Authority on matters related to both the physical facility and the programming and activities. The board will function in a capacity similar to the Growth Fund Committee and will consist of nine voting and two non-voting members.

ADVERTISEMENT

Approved giving permission to Cities Area Transit staff to accept and move forward with bus and bus facilities funding for the second phase of a project on the CAT depot remodel, addition and rehab in the amount of $7,768,742. The grant has a maximum of 90% Federal funding and 10% local match funding.

Related Topics: GRAND FORKS CITY COUNCIL
Meghan Arbegast grew up in Security-Widefield, Colorado. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from North Dakota State University in Fargo, in 2021.

Arbegast wrote for The Spectrum, NDSU's student newspaper, for three years and was Head News Editor for two years. She was an intern with University Relations her last two semesters of college.

Arbegast covers news pertaining to the city of Grand Forks/East Grand Forks including city hall coverage.

Readers can reach Arbegast at 701-780-1267 or MArbegast@gfherald.com.

Pronouns: She/Her
Languages: English
What To Read Next
The meeting was streamed online on Monday
Between opinion pieces and stories, more than 200 articles have been published on the Herald about the project
“The Department of the Air Force deferred to the Department of the Treasury during the (CFIUS) review to assess potential risks associated with the proposed project,” the spokesperson said.
Following an official and declarative comment from the Air Force, Mayor Brandon Bochenski last week said he is requesting remedies be taken to stop the project.