City Welcomes New Officers

Valley City City Commissioners started off their regular meeting Monday by welcoming two new police officers joining the Valley City Police Department. City officials also approved financing for a Valley City/Barnes County Development Corp. project.

Police officers Breanna Tessin and Nicholas Horner were both sworn into office Monday. Tessin is originally from Minnesota and is currently living in West Fargo, and Horner is a Valley City native.

Jennifer Feist, of the VDC, presented the city commission with details on the I-94 Regional Development Corridor project, what Feist calls the largest project the organization has ever taken on.

The project dedicates 77 acres of land to house the National Guard’s new facility and for private sector development. Approximately 20 acres would be used for the National Guard and 30 acres would be used for the expansion of John Deere Seeding Group and to house a new logistics company. The remaining land would be obtained by the VDC to use for future development.

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

The new National Guard facility will be used to accommodate the expanding needs of the National Guard. It has outgrown the existing facility in terms of space, training needs and the technology that it utilizes today.

In order to finance the estimated $9.5 million project, VDC has applied for grants and requested a portion of future sales tax revenue, which the city approved during the last regular meeting.

George Gaukler, spokesperson for the VDC, said Monday that the sales tax extension is “critical” in financing the infrastructure in case they do not get all the grant money for which they’ve applied.

Another important financial step was taken Monday when the city approved the VDC’s request for $1.25 million in tax increment financing for 15 years.

“It’s exciting for us,” Feist said of the project. “We’ll have, hopefully, some increase (in) property taxes because we’re creating demand for goods and services; we’re creating demand in housing.”
Feist said packets of information on the project are available to the public upon request at City Hall.

In other business, the city approved a contract for construction engineering with Kadrmas, Lee and Jackson for the Main Street Sheyenne riverbank stabilization for $19,000.

Chad Petersen with KLJ said that contractors estimated it would take about three to four weeks to complete the project, which would repair infrastructure that was damaged from two major spring floods in 2009 and 2011.