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Grand Forks committee approves menagerie of Bank of ND loan-related items

Grand Forks leaders took another step forward Tuesday in preparing to spend portions of a $15 million Bank of North Dakota loan. The Grand Forks Service and Safety Committee made a series of 2-0 votes with City Council and committee member Crysta...

Grand Forks leaders took another step forward Tuesday in preparing to spend portions of a $15 million Bank of North Dakota loan .

The Grand Forks Service and Safety Committee made a series of 2-0 votes with City Council and committee member Crystal Schneider absent, approving a series of land agreements, construction plans and special assessment districts on the way to expanding city infrastructure and building a water treatment plant.

Some of the most notable developments include land agreements between landowners and the city that make way for expansions of utilities like sewer and water services. Those help get the property ready for development but help shield nearby landowners from being held responsible for paying for the project until the land is developed or no longer farmland.

“It’s really the natural progression that you have to go through to get these projects completed,” City Council and committee member Ken Vein said. “And you need to have agreements with property owners because that gives us a way to finance it.”

Those land agreements happened in several areas; one was north of Gateway Drive between 20th Avenue North, the English Coulee and I-29. Others were on the west side of the city, portions of which include development for a water treatment plant and room for future residential and business properties.

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One land purchase also was approved by the committee, concerning a nearly $276,000 purchase of a 14.5-acre plot of land near 11th Avenue South and South 58th Street. The site will eventually see construction of parts of the city’s future water treatment plant.

The Riverside Pool may get a paint job.

The Grand Forks Service and Safety Committee voted 2-0 to award a bid to Tri State Coatings for up to about $56,500 to sandblast and repaint the pool in the aftermath of painting projects that have eventually flaked off. The sandblasting method should remove underlying coats of paint, a problem for previous paint jobs, city officials said.

“Just with the safety of the users of the pool, we want to make sure there’s no shadowing effect, and that’s currently occurring with the areas that can’t hold paint,” Water Works Division Director Melanie Parvey told the Herald, describing the dappling effect that can appear as portions of paint begin to flake off the pool, making it harder for lifeguards to discern struggling swimmers against a multi-shaded backdrop.

City Council and committee member Terry Bjerke has previously said he believes the Grand Forks Park District should own the pool, adding he plans to vote against awarding the bid at a City Council vote. However, he voted for the measure at the Service and Safety Committee meeting only to prevent a split vote.

Pending approval, the project is expected to proceed within the next several months.

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