Guard Money Secured

The Valley City City Commission accomplished a lot Monday during their regular meeting, where they took steps in securing land for the National Guard and private sector development.

Jennifer Feist of the Valley City/Barnes County Development Corp. presented the commission with several requests, all which aid in the financing for the National Guard’s new facility and in private sector development.

The city approved a request from VDC for a portion of future sales tax revenue to secure financing for the new $31.6 million Guard facility.
Feist said the new facility would increase the number of full-time soldiers from 23 to 35.

“We would also see an influx of soldiers from the entire region coming here for training on a regular basis,” Feist said.

The VDC, city officials and the National Guard have been working closely, looking at seven potential sites around the area. The site the National Guard has chosen is east of John Deere and includes the home and outbuildings of Valley City resident Stan Ryan.

The property will be used to accommodate the expanding needs of the National Guard. They have outgrown the existing facility in terms of space, training needs and the technology that they utilize today.

The city also approved sponsorship for a grant to aid in paying for infrastructure for the National Guard project.

Also approved was a request from the VDC to call a special election on Nov. 6, for an advisory vote on an ordinance that would amend, update and reenact the existing 1 percent city sales tax for an additional 10-year term until Dec. 2029.

Feist said their request came so that the VDC could make long-term financial plans and that their only request was to extend, not change or adjust, the sales tax.

“We would take on the public presentation and allow for plenty of public input so that the vote can be handled on Nov. 6,” Feist said.

In other business, a public hearing was held for the city’s 2013 budget, which the city had been discussing the previous few weeks.

No public comment was heard during the hearing.

City Commissioner Madeline Luke urged her fellow commissioners to allow engineering firm URS Corporation to visit with local officials, at no cost, about management of the Sheyenne River.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is currently conducting a feasibility study on the river, which is a comprehensive study that will allow the Corps to better understand the hydrology of the river. The study will also aid the Corps in developing a plan to diminish the risk of and offer a permanent solution to flooding in Valley City and along the Sheyenne River.

Luke says one major factor missing from the Corps’ study is erosion. Luke hopes the URS can fill the gaps of the Corps’ study by addressing erosion, which she and other officials say is a major and continual problem along the Sheyenne.

“Really (erosion) is a moving target,” Luke said.

The commission agreed to allow URS, which Luke said is the third-largest engineering firm in the world, to speak with them, but Commisssioner Mary Lee Nielson also suggested that the city hear from other firms, like city engineering firm Kadrmas, Lee and Jackson, who she said might have more local knowledge on the Sheyenne River.