East Grand Forks council members hear request to list Blue Line Arena as emergency temporary holding facility

The Blue Line would be used in the event of a short-term evacuation of inmates from the Northwest Regional Corrections Center in Crookston

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East Grand Forks City Hall. Herald file photo.

EAST GRAND FORKS – Members of East Grand Forks City Council listened to a request to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Northwest Regional Corrections Center in Crookston to list Blue Line Arena as an emergency temporary holding facility in the event of a short-term evacuation of inmates.

The short-term holding period would last up to 12 hours and would be used in the event that an evacuation of the jail is needed. The Crookston NWRCC already has two existing agreements in place with the Crookston Sports Center and the Crookston Armory building, meaning the Blue Line Arena would be a third location and would be used in the event of a type of emergency that would require the entire city of Crookston to evacuate.

East Grand Forks Parks and Recreation Director Reid Huttunen said if there are other preferences for which arena to designate, suggestions can be made. However, he thinks the Blue Line Arena would be a good option for the temporary holding facility.

“As far as the arenas are set up, the Blue Line, I think, is as good as any in our community to serve this purpose for the short amount of time if it was ever needed,” Huttunen said.

In other council news Tuesday:


  • Council members discussed replacing the front canopy roof at the Senior Citizens Center. The city has $25,000 budgeted in the building maintenance fund for the replacement. The cheapest price quote was from Skinner Roofing for $16,200.
  • Council members listened to the East Grand Forks Fire Department’s promotional process for assistant fire chief and engineer. Members of the council spent time considering promoting Austin Skjei to the position of assistant fire chief and to promoting Hunter Olson to the position of engineer starting March 30. This comes as Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Anderson is retiring March 29.
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

Pronouns: She/Her
Languages: English
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