Author Topic: Student Senate meets with City Council; City Council gives up  (Read 1492 times)

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Offline Sal Atticum

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Student Senate meets with City Council; City Council gives up
« on: February 11, 2008, 08:16:11 am »
I'm not really sure what they're doing anyway.  First they want to add a sales tax to pay for the new county jail, which means that the students will be paying for it, then they say "no, we don't have the money for train-free zones, so we're going to give up on it ENTIRELY," and then they say they have no power when it comes to zoning (I know they need to work with the Uni, but they essentially say that they won't even start the dialogue from their end).  Gee, that was a productive meeting.

UND Student Senate, City Council meet
By Lisa Gibson, Herald Staff Writer
Published Monday, February 11, 2008
The UND Student Senate and the Grand Forks City Council discussed topics such as the county sales tax initiative and rent increases at their joint meeting Sunday night.

Mayor Mike Brown and five city council members, including Council President Hal Gershman, answered the students' questions and got their feedback on issues important to the university and community.

First on the agenda was the county sales tax initiative. Grand Forks County came up short on needed funds for the county correctional facility, Gershman explained to the Student Senate. The property tax was raised about eight mills to help with the cost.

“There was a lot of outcry in the city and county,” Gershman said.

Now, the county would like to levy a 1 percent sales tax that would cover the cost in four years and allow for reduced property taxes. The average property owner, citizens with a property value of $100,000, will save $37.17 per year if the sales tax is implemented instead.

A recent survey reported that 56 percent of citizens are in favor of the sales tax increase, Gershman said. A major drawback of the initiative for students is that most are students and Grand Forks citizens for only four years.

“The people who pay for it in the next four years will not benefit,” he said.

“And hopefully, none of you will use it,” Doug Christensen said of the jail, smiling.

The Student Senate hopes to set up a meeting with Grand Forks County Commissioners this week to ask more questions about the tax because it is a county initiative.

Senators also asked council members about rent increases in Grand Forks and issues raised in the past about train whistle-free zones in the community. The project would have been too expensive and had become increasingly complicated, council members answered. The cost for each individual intersection being whistle-free is about $1 million, they said.

Other issues discussed include the noncommercial zoning on the campus and many students' desire to have other restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores and other shopping opportunities on campus.

Gershman seemed to be in favor of the idea and suggested the senate bring the issue to new University President Robert Kelley, as the city cannot change campus zoning without the university's consent.

“If the university wanted to look at it, I'd certainly entertain that in a heartbeat,” he said.

Reach Gibson at (701) 787-6754, (800) 477-6572, ext. 754; or">

Offline pmp6nl

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Re: Student Senate meets with City Council; City Council gives up
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2008, 11:09:16 pm »
It sounds as if each group "wants" something from the other, but that cant agree on compromises or anything.


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