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Published February 17, 2010, 10:57 PM

GF Mayor: Quarter-cent Sales Tax Could Help Fund Library

2010 will be a year for some big changes in Grand Forks according to Mayor Mike Brown. In his State of the City address Mayor Brown talked about some of those major changes...including the possibility of increasing the sales tax.

2010 will be a year for some big changes in Grand Forks according to Mayor Mike Brown. In his State of the City address Mayor Brown talked about some of those major changes...including the possibility of increasing the sales tax.

Mike Brown: "I propose we consider adding a quarter cent sales tax for two purposes. First, to begin building up resources to address future costs so we don't lay all our problems at our children's feet. Costs associated with specific needs like water and transportation… and providing for public/private investments that keep us a strong regional center."

Brown says the first 10 million dollars of that sales tax would go toward a new library. He also says a change in the health of the people in Grand Forks is in the works.

Mike Brown: "I want to work with the City Council to extend the smoke-free workplace ordinance throughout Grand Forks this year. I appreciate the public's voice… including entities that will be affected by the change… and I encourage a hearty dialogue in the next few weeks and months."

Brown says the "hub" of Grand Forks... The downtown area is ready for the change with several new apartment complexes in the works.

Mike Brown: "Our D-1 downtown will add hundreds of new residents…it will include stroll districts that invite visitors and inhabitants alike to wander the streets and pop their heads… and their seats into businesses."

And with new places to live, people need jobs and opportunities. Brown says Grand Forks needs to be committed to providing opportunities, both cultural and professional, to attract people to the city and keep them here.

Mike Brown: "there is nothing wrong with our young people leaving to seek opportunities. There is something wrong with forcing our young people to leave in order to have these opportunities."

Not everything was positive though... Mayor Brown says one issue that needs to be addressed is the Alerus Center. He says he wants to continue to grow the area around the Alerus Center to make the city owned events center better.

Mike Brown: "The Alerus Center is here…and it is here to stay. We are proud of it and it is incumbent upon ALL of us to help it succeed."

Mayor Brown also talked about the possibility of moving the city elections to November so UND students would be able to vote.

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