City leaders happy with legislative sessionGrand Forks city leaders say they're pleased with the outcome of the North Dakota legislative session. Grand Forks was pushing for a number of things including funding for water projects and property tax relief.
By: David Schwab, WDAZ
Grand Forks city leaders say they're pleased with the outcome of the North Dakota legislative session. Grand Forks was pushing for a number of things including funding for water projects and property tax relief.
I talked with council members Dana Sande and Bret Weber about how they felt Grand Forks made out in a year where the state has a lot of money. Overall they say thumbs up.
Funding to start the process on a new water treatment plant in Grand Forks was on the legislative wish list of council members. They positioned the city for that by getting five million dollars from the state.
Bret Weber, GF City Councilman: "The water that we treat is effected by state policy which affects how expensive it is to treat it. The water we produce is used regionally "
Still $125 million dollars in funding is needed for the water plant. Another hot topic, property tax relief, with 860 million dollars approved across the state That will happen, however just how that might affect those in Grand Forks is still being worked out.
Weber: "The owner of a 150 thousand dollar home originally it looked like they might be getting to enjoy about 500 dollars in annual relief, now it looks like that number might be closer to like 900."
Other good news for the city is the 500,000 dollars approved for funding in the Grand Forces Air Force base retention and possible dollars to help the area develop its UAS mission if national testing air space is approved.
Dana Sande, City Councilman: "If North Dakota is selected as a national test site, the state has committed five million dollars."
While the city didn't get everything on its wishlist leaders say they're happy with the support from the state. Sande says the only thing the state didn't approve that he would have liked to see was a rotating loan program so that the city could borrow money for infustructure for new housing.