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Grand Forks mayor called a 'lying ass' in heated city council meeting as Fufeng exec silently watches

Opponents interrupted the city council meeting several times forcing Mayor Brandon Bochenski to call a recess.

fufengswear
Jodi Carlson calls Grand Forks Mayor a "lying ass," after being removed from the city council meeting for interrupting it several times.
Matt Henson / WDAY News
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GRAND FORKS — It was a very heated city council meeting in Grand Forks on Tuesday night, Jan 3.

It came as Fufeng made its first appearance since clearing a major hurdle.

Now that federal regulators decided not to stop plans to build the controversial wet corn milling plant on the city's north side, city leaders say they expect to make a lot of progress on the project between now and March.

"You didn't get the red light from CIFUS, but by no way, no means did you get a green light," said project opponent Dennis Cadlec.

While city leaders call the project a big economic boost for the region, opponents still fear the Chinese-based company could do the exact opposite.

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"What about the tax dollars and revenue we will lose when our Air Force base, our drones, our new mission leaves," said local business owner Dale Spicer.

Fufeng's COO was in attendance, but he refused to engage with opponents.

For more than an hour, city leaders outlined key aspects of the project which at times were met with interruptions.

At one point Mayor Brandon Bochenski stopped the meeting due to the interruptions.

As soon as the meeting resumed one woman — who claims the city is breaking the law with parts of the development agreement — was told to leave.

On the way out she yelled across the room, calling Mayor Bochenski a, "lying ass."

City leaders point out the development agreement, which does not guarantee the plant will ever be built, has more than 100 conditions that are constantly being tracked.

The final project still needs the city council's approval.

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The goal is to have a final building plan by the end of the year.

"The important part of the development agreement is to make sure we get over all of the hurdles of the environmental reviews so that we can come to you with the details of the bidding and approvals," explained Grand Forks City Administrator Todd Feland.

With the project full steam ahead, the city council will receive bi-weekly reports about the Fufeng project.

Matt Henson is an Emmy award-winning reporter/photographer/editor for WDAY. Prior to joining WDAY in 2019, Matt was the main anchor at WDAZ in Grand Forks for four years. He was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia and attended college at Lyndon State College in northern Vermont, where he was recognized twice nationally, including first place, by the National Academy for Arts and Science for television production. Matt enjoys being a voice for the little guy. He focuses on crimes and courts and investigative stories. Just as often, he shares tear-jerking stories and stories of accomplishment. Matt enjoys traveling to small towns across North Dakota and Minnesota to share their stories. He can be reached at mhenson@wday.com and at 610-639-9215. When he's not at work (rare) Matt resides in Moorhead and enjoys spending time with his daughter, golfing and attending Bison and Sioux games.
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