Here is your InForum Minute for Thursday, March 10.
WEST FARGO — In hopes of keeping water and sewer rates from rising again, the West Fargo City Commission plans to use nearly $6 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds from the city for its lagoon decommissioning project.
West Fargo Chief Financial Officer Jim Larson said Monday, March 7, the city has received $2.9 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds and another $2.9 million is expected by the end of 2022, for a total of $5.8 million.
“It’s a good amount of funds with restrictions,” Larson said.
This funding was originally given to cities in the United States on the condition that it be used for water, sewer or broadband projects. Full story here.
Fargo School Board Rejects Proposal to Raise Substitute Teacher Salaries
FARGO — Despite a worrying shortage of substitute teachers, an attempt to nearly double their salaries has failed in the Fargo School District.
The proposal presented to the Fargo School Board on Tuesday, March 8 was to increase elementary substitute teacher salaries to $200 per day for the remainder of the 2021-22 school year and raise salaries to $175 per day. day for middle school and high school. substitute teachers.
Council members Jennifer Benson and David Paulson voted for the motion to increase substitute teacher salaries. Council members Jim Johnson, Brian Nelson, Tracie Newman, Nikki Gullickson, Seth Holden and Rebecca Knutson voted against the motion. Full story here.
Minnesota drought relief plans move forward on Capitol Hill, but face clash ahead
ST. PAUL — Drought relief payments for Minnesota farmers and ranchers could be delayed again on Capitol Hill as the House of Representatives and Senate pass plans with a $13 million gap between them.
Leaders of the Republican-led Senate Agriculture Committee and Democratic-led House Farmer Committee have for months stressed the need for grants and loans to farmers and ranchers who could not qualify for crop insurance for their losses.
Earlier in the legislative session, it emerged that a $10 million grant and loan package for producers hardest hit by the drought would have a clear path through the legislature. Full story here.
Bill would establish Indigenous Peoples Day in Minnesota
ST. PAUL — The Minnesota House is considering legislation that would replace Minnesota’s existing Columbus Day holiday with Indigenous Peoples Day.
A bill introduced by Rep. Heather Keeler, DFL-Moorhead, would change the name of Columbus Day in Minnesota law and require state and local governments to recognize it as a holiday. The executive branch does not currently recognize Columbus Day as a statutory holiday, and other branches and subdivisions of government can decide whether or not to observe the day.
The move is part of a national campaign to rename the holiday celebrating Christopher Columbus, the Italian explorer whose expeditions to the Americas ushered in an era of European colonization. Proponents of changing the day’s name to honor indigenous peoples argue that Columbus’ brutality towards America’s first inhabitants should not be celebrated. Full story here.