New writer on the city beat

Hi, I’m Charly Haley, the new city beat reporter at the Herald. After starting the job in December, I’m finally getting around to taking over this blog from Brandi Jewett (who is now blogging here.)

This weekend I wrote about the Grand Forks City Council members seeking an increase in salary, as they’re among the lowest-paid in the state.

And here’s my story from today’s paper, about funding for the new water plant:

Grand Forks will get new water plant, with or without state funds

Even if the state doesn’t pay for half of the project, Grand Forks will still get its new water treatment plant, city officials say.

“We would be extremely disappointed if we didn’t get (state funding), but we can’t stop,” said Todd Feland, city administrator.

The city has requested 50 percent state grant funding for the about $130 million water treatment plant, Feland said. With those funds, the city could start construction on the plant in 2016 to be finished June 2019.

Feland said there’s a good chance the city will get state funding because the water treatment plant project has regional benefits like providing water to incoming industrial users and assisting the Red River Valley Water Supply Project, which aims to bring Missouri River water to the valley in case of drought.

But City Council member Ken Vein, who has been active on city and state water issues, said he sees about a 50 percent chance right now of the state paying for half of the city’s water treatment plant.

Continue reading this story here.

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