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Published October 02, 2013, 06:34 PM

Moorhead looks to break down business barrier

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - Are good jobs hard to find in Moorhead and the rest Minnesota? That's the question officials posed to the public at a meeting this afternoon in the city's public library.

By: Drew Trafton , WDAY

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - Are good jobs hard to find in Moorhead and the rest Minnesota?

That's the question officials posed to the public at a meeting this afternoon in the city's public library.

Elected state representatives shared job data showing that although job openings have increased by 39% over last year, the median wage for the same openings dropped by 21%.

State Representatives Ben Lien and Ryan Winkler pushed for a higher minimum wage during the meeting, citing that only a quarter of those opening require training beyond high school and that over half of those openings were for part time jobs. This conversation follows a meeting in Moorhead last night, aimed at growing and developing downtown Moorhead.

The brick wall stands as a symbol for Cami Sagvold.

Cami Sagvold - American Family Insurance Agent: "I want to kiss the door every day."

The wall represents a 10 year barrier Sagvold faced before finding a space for her American Family Insurance branch in Moorhead.

Cami Sagvold: "I memorized the city zoning map. And I know what corridors could be considered business use."

Sagvold twice before attempted to buy land to build a new business, once stopped due to residential re-zoning restrictions, and another time halted due to her prospective business being smaller than the minimum lot size. Its space is still unused.

However, another business' misfortune landed her current office space. Atomic Coffee lost parking space due to the whistle free train regulations in Moorhead.

Cami Sagvold: "They went from four parking spaces down to two, and she was in a high traffic area."

After a summer of remodeling, Sagvold opened her insurance branch, complete with the character of the Atomic Coffee brick wall.

Cami Sagvold: "Part of the old piece of Moorhead lives on."

But occupying the wall is also something new; A painting Sagvold commissioned of iconic signs and buildings from another downtown.

Cami Sagvold: "It would be a lot nicer to have iconic pieces in Moorhead."

Sagvold says for downtown to flourish, small business owners need their own corridors, complete with yes, parking space and smaller lot sizes.

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