City Council approves jointly applying for grant with developer

Oct. 4—JAMESTOWN — The Jamestown City Council unanimously approved on Monday, Oct. 3, sponsoring an application for a Community Development Block Grant with Stride Development for housing in Jamestown.

Stride Development needs a sponsoring entity — the city of Jamestown — to apply for the Community Development Block Grant. Eligible grantees are principal cities of metropolitan statistical areas, metropolitan cities with populations of at least 50,000 or qualified urban counties with populations of at least 200,000 excluding the population of entitled cities, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The grant funds would be used by Stride Development to purchase property and pay for other costs related to applying for the grant.

Mayor Dwaine Heinrich said the city is the entity that receives the funds if the Community Development Block Grant application is approved, and Stride Development will receive the funds from the city.

Stride Development intends to purchase and redevelop a building in Jamestown, said Tyrone Grandstrand, CEO of the company. Stride Development's goals are to invest in Jamestown, redevelop and fill the properties that qualify as slum or blight under the Community Development Block Grant Program requirements and meet the housing needs of the city.

The site in Jamestown that has not been disclosed qualifies as a slum and/or blighted property under the Community Development Block Grant Program, Grandstrand previously said at a Jamestown Finance and Legal Committee name.

Grandstrand did not name the building Stride Development plans to purchase and redevelop but said it is a "couple of blocks" from First Avenue. He confirmed that Stride Development doesn't have a purchase agreement yet on any property.

Heinrich said it would be difficult to publicly say what property Stride Development is looking at if there isn't a purchase agreement in place.

City Administrator Sarah Hellekson said the final action of the City Council as the sponsoring entity for the application will be entering into an agreement with the state of North Dakota to comply with the Community Development Block Grant Program requirements.

The City Council unanimously approved a memorandum of understanding between the city of Jamestown, the National Audubon Society and the Jamestown Parks and Recreation District for the installation and maintenance of ornithological habitat in seven areas in the city.

The seven locations are in Pepper's Dog Park, Klaus, Nickeus, McElroy and racetrack parks, an area along the south side of Hillcrest Municipal Golf Course and areas near White Cloud Trail and Frontier Village. Racetrack park is located west of 4th Avenue Northwest across from Sunnyside Trailer Court, and White Cloud Trail starts in McElroy Park and goes southeast of the James River.

The memorandum of understanding says the National Audubon Society is interested in preserving and enhancing the habitat for birds and other wildlife within certain areas of land along the James River. At the same time, the Audubon Society is interested in establishing and enhancing vegetation that is beneficial for water storage, filtration, purification and flood mitigation while also being an aesthetically pleasing area for residents.

The work to install and maintain habitat for birds will be done in three phases.

The Audubon Society will develop site plans for each area at no cost to the city of Jamestown and the Jamestown Parks and Recreation District. The Audubon Society will consult with the city and Parks and Recreation District while it's developing the site plans.

The second phase includes preparing and restoring the sites with grass-like species and a variety of wildflowers. The Audubon Society will be responsible for site preparation and restoration, and the phase will be completed when the native plants are established. The third phase includes maintenance of the native plants on restored sites by the city and the Parks and Recreation District for 15 years. The city and Parks and Recreation District will be responsible for all costs of the maintenance.

The City Council unanimously approved sending a letter of support to the North Dakota High School Activities Association in favor of the city hosting the North Dakota State Class B Girls Basketball Tournament beginning in March 2024.

If a proposal that was presented to the North Dakota High School Activity Association to move to a three-class system is approved, the Class A and B state tournaments will be held the first weekend in March and will rotate between Minot, Grand Forks and Jamestown. Jamestown would host a tournament two out of three years since Grand Forks is only available every other year because it hosts hockey tournaments.

The City Council approved in September to get bids for a new basketball floor and the purchase of bleachers for additional seating for 200 people at the Jamestown Civic Center. The estimate for a new floor would be $175,000 minus the trade-in value of the old floor.