The council voted 6-1 to approve an agreement between the city and county to provide fire protection for the Grand Sky unmanned aircraft business park, where developers are already finishing up plans to move tenants in later this year.
"Any development, any house, any business, without fire protection, I don't know if it can really be insured," Swoyer said. "We have to have some fire protection capability for (Grand Sky) to be viable from an insurance perspective."
There's more to the deal than sending firefighters 18 miles down the road in the case of an emergency. Under the new contract, Grand Forks County--which rents the the land the business park is being built upon from
Those prices can vary. The rate for response is
That's a bitter pill for council member
"I'm concerned that this is going to be a long-term handout to Grand Sky," he said.
Grand Forks Fire Chief
"It's a multi-million dollar operation with millions of dollars in equipment inside these buildings," he said. "This isn't a strip mall, this isn't a restaurant, this is a very large facility."
Grand Forks County Commissioner
"As Grand Sky grows, there will be more and more buildings out there," he said. "If it develops as anticipated, it will have a number of different buildings, and of course you've got high-value tech stuff out there."
City leaders requested that the agreement be reviewed annually, and most officials close to the project don't expect it to last much longer than several years. Fire protection at the facility is likely to grow, they said, and Grand Sky should likely have its own fire station within several years--be it a city facility or an on-site volunteer arrangement.
"Right now, this is the best fire protection that can be offered to them in order to get them off the ground and running," O'Neill said.
--Council members also voted 6-1 with Bjerke dissenting to give approval to an extension of its
The new changes to the plan tweak how tax breaks are applied within the zone's borders. No longer will the city give tax breaks for just purchasing a property--that's already incentivized by the market, city staffers have said--and the incentives for new construction have been increased, with property tax exemptions boosted to 100 percent for five years instead of a lower, declining rate. In addition, seven new city blocks are added.
--The council also voted unanimously on its consent agenda to approve a spending plan for a
--Finally, the council voted 6-1 with Bjerke dissenting on how to spend a
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