The City of Grand Forks is rolling into the New Year on an economic high, with an all time record sales tax collection of 20-million dollars.
Kevin Dean, City of Grand Forks: "In 2012 we had a record year for sales tax collections and so it's always tough to top a record year, and we did so… by 1.3% in 2013. It just shows the economy continues to be very vibrant in Grand Forks."
Dean says it appears the rush of cash into Grand Forks is due to more than just an increase in shoppers. More and more local companies are tied to the western North Dakota oil boom.
City officials are already planning how to use that extra cash for the growth of Grand Forks.
Todd Feland, City Administrator: "What we're working on is some infrastructure master planning and looking at those growth areas. What the city can do in the next year regarding investing in infrastructure in new areas of Grand Forks. Whether it's on the est side of the City, South side or North end."
Grand Forks also garnered some free, national attention in 2013… being picked as one of the best places for young people to live in American, and also… one of the most exciting small cities in the Country.
City officials say is appears that long running trend of young people fleeing the State is turning around.
Kevin Dean: "As much as we have heard over the years of people that want to leave North Dakota and particularly Grand Forks, because there's just nothing to do and just get out of here. We're showing that trend is reversing in Grand Forks. That makes us feel very proud."
Some of the factors in putting Grand Forks on the list as one of the most exciting small cities in America, include the numbers of restaurants, night life and entertainment. Plus, the growing population of people 20 to 34-years of age.