SIMPLOT EXPANDS IN GRAND FORKS: Keith Lund

Keith Lund
President, CEO
Grand Forks Economic Development Corporation

Keith Lund is the President & CEO of the Grand Forks EDC; he joined us to talk about an economic development deal that was brought to the Grand Forks City Council — J.R. Simplot’s construction of a new freezer facility north of Gateway Drive, set to open in 2019.   He explains the benefits to the City of Grand Forks as well as the costs.

IF NO SALES TAX INCREASE… WHAT THEN? Todd Feland

Todd Feland
City Administrator
City of Grand Forks

Todd Feland is the City Administrator of Grand Forks, he joined us to discuss and footnote key elements of Mayor Mike Brown’s Sales Tax increase proposal which was unveiled Monday night.

Todd walks us through the plan for infrastructure, to include 42nd St and 47th Ave South, the Plan for Reserves, the plan for existing infrastructure and the plan for use of both mils and sales tax revenue that is currently servicing permanent flood protection debt that goes away in 2021.

We also discuss the Mayor and Council’s alternatives if the sales tax is no approved.  If you care to be part of an informed debate on the Sales Tax issue, you must listen to this.

VALIDATING THE NEED FOR ANOTHER TAX: Terry Bjerke

Terry Bjerke

My former Grand Forks City Council colleague Terry Bjerke joined the program to talk the prospects of a new sales tax discussion in Grand Forks. Terry is no stranger to the the details of this discussion and walks us through what he believes to be the basics of the any substantive discussion on additional revenue for the City:

  1. ASSUMPTION:  Declining City Sales Tax Revenue & declining State Infrastructure Funding will both return to “historically normal” levels within five years
  2. REVIEW & DEFINE RESERVES HELD IN THE FOLLOWING ACCOUNTS:   Loan & Stabilization, Economic Development, JDA, Cash Carryover
  3. DEFINE INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS TO BE FUNDED:  a finite prioritized list of those projects to be funded by additional taxes levied on the citizens of Grand Forks

With these fiscal pieces in place, Terry believes an empirically based debate can be held on the size and length of additional taxes that the City may need to levy on the citizens of Grand Forks.

A GRAND ART PLAN FOR DOWNTOWN: Todd Feland

Todd Feland
City Administator
City of Grand Forks

Todd Feland, City Adminstrator for the City of Grand Forks joined us to talk about the City’s “Parks & Open Space Plan” in the wake of Jonathan Holth’s call for Grand Forks to create a Grand Plan for art in downtown Grand Forks.

Feland outlines what the City is doing currently which will be presented to the Committee of the Whole this coming Monday evening.

STATE INFRASTRUCTURE FUNDING – ARBOR PARK: Dana Sande

Dana Sande
President
GF City Council

Tuesday, June 12 2017, Hour 2

Dana Sande, President of the Grand Forks City Council, is concerned about the situation the City of Grand Forks finds itself in financially as a result of a decrease in State funding of infrastructure combined with a declining City Sales Tax.  The Bottom Line – there are dark clouds on the horizon for every local government in the state.

In a pointed interview as the vote on Arbor Park gets under way, Sande expressed frustration over what he believes are falsehoods about the “standard Renaissance Zone incentives” that apply to the Ritterman project that could be built in Arbor Park if approved and emphasized the importance of this vote for much needed tax revenue and as a message to developers that Grand Forks is business friendly.

A frank and interesting interview.

 

Wednesday, June 07 2017 — Hour 2: ARBOR PARK — Steven Schadler

Steven Schadler

Steven Schadler was a Grand Forks Park District Horticulturist from 1988 trough 2002.  He joins us to discuss the history of Arbor Park, its significance to those who built it and his estimate of the “cost” of moving Arbor Park.

Schadler also discusses his views as a horticulturist on how the City handled the move of Memorial Park when it was moved due to a development and his opinion of what today’s downtowns need to be vibrant.

ALL THINGS GRAND FORKS: Todd Feland

Todd Feland
City Administrator
City of Grand Forks

The City Administrator of the City of Grand Forks joined us on Monday to discuss all things Grand Forks.  The topics included:  (1)  Speed Limits, (2) rumors of an Air Force inspired round of BRAC, (3) City infrastructure, (4)  the City’s role in fighting addiction and then most interesting… (5) the future.

A very interesting discussion.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN GRAND FORKS: Brian Schill, VP at Praxis Strategy Group

Mark Schill
Vice President
Praxis Strategy Group

Grand Forks native and UND graduate Mark Schill, Vice President at Praxis Strategy Group joins us to talk development in Grand Forks.  We talk the following:

(1) Evolve Grand Forks update

(2) The influence of Bruce Gjovig on business development in Grand Forks

(3)  The importance the “downtown” of a city

(4)  Footnote the economic recovery of the Flood of 1997 (the Missile & Bomber Wings BOTH departed too!)

(5)  The Housing Task Force

(6)  Arbor Park

THE FOUNDER AND BUILDER OF UND’S CENTER FOR INNOVATION ISN’T DONE YET: Bruce Gjovig

UND Center for Innovation CEO Bruce Gjovig speaks to a packed room at the Ina Mae Rude Entrepreneur Center during a retirement celebration for Gjovig who’s retiring at the end of April. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

Bruce Gjovig, the recently retired leader of UND’s Center for Innovation, joined MacTalk to discuss his career as the founder and builder of the Center and it’s noteworthy achievements over the course of over thirty years.

In an incredible interview, Bruce discusses Tom Clifford’s influence in the creation of the Center, its initial funding, the Flood of 1997, the creation of the Center’s Foundation and the role James Ray played in expanding the Center.

Bruce also discusses how was the Center for Innovation is funded, if he was asked to steer the Center in a new direction by the new UND Administration and how his termination was handled by the University.

From growing up on a farm/ranch near Crosby, ND to leading UND’s Center for Innovation for three decades, Bruce Gjovig built a self-sufficient organization with the soul of an entrepreneur.  He’s not done yet either.  A GREAT INTERVIEW.

 

 

CINCO DE MAYO — DOWNTOWN GROCERY STORE — PAOLA’S BAKERY — START YOUR GRILL: Kim P. Holmes

Mac & Kim Holmes

In a wide ranging conversation Kim Holmes and Mac discuss (1) drinking tequila on Cinco de Mayo, (2) Kim’s longtime desire for a downtown grocery store in Grand Forks, (3) the opening of Paola’s Bakery in downtown Grand Forks and finally… (4) taking your grill out of hibernation and bringing it back to life for the year!