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WDAY: The News Leader

Published January 09, 2014, 05:47 PM

Area mayors hold State of the Cities address

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - City growth, development and protection are all big topics today for the mayors of Dilworth, Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo.

By: Brian Abel, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - City growth, development and protection are all big topics today for the mayors of Dilworth, Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo.

All mayors stressed that a successful 2013 couldn't have happened without cross city collaboration, and all say they look forward to the challenges ahead in 2014.

Protecting their cities from the high waters is the most important challenge for the four mayors of the FM area according to their State of the Cities address, and they all agree that West Fargo is setting the example for flood protection."

Rich Mattern, West Fargo mayor: "West Fargo would not be growing the way it is, it would not be what it is today without that diversion."

Dennis Walaker, Fargo Mayor: "We're going to spend close to $40 million downtown."

That money will be used to put up floodwalls, including the big one on 2nd Street. In Moorhead a lot of work has already been done, but there is still more to do.

Del Rae Williams, Moorhead Mayor: "We hope to be certified, levy certified so that there should not be any houses in Moorhead that need to have flood protection."

The mayors also say the key to keeping unemployment low, and city growth continuing, starts with education.

Chad Olson, Dilworth Mayor: "If you want to have a fantastic workforce, have a fantastic education."

Williams: "It starts at the K-12 level."

Walaker: "The whole goal is to continue the process, so our kids can get educated here and walk out of the universities with skills"

The mayors say bringing more businesses into their cities is also at the top of their agendas, and they will work to keep retail on pace with residential development.

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