Horace residents petitioning against new city hall building that may make taxes go up

New city hall
Published: Oct. 12, 2020 at 6:15 PM CDT
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HORACE, N.D. (Valley News Live) -

Call it growing pains for residents of Horace. New projects will likely lead to taxes going up.

“I have a really hard time backing this project,” said Erin Sarbaum from Horace.

Nearly 200 people living in Horace have signed a petition opposing a new city hall building. Plans call for things like underground parking and fitness a facility for their employees only.

Sarbaum has lived in Horace since 2006, and, like many others, she said the city is only looking out for themselves.

“There’s other problems in the community that need to be fixed before we put this type of money into a project that is not needed,” said Sarbaum.

“We’re not looking for an extravagant building,” said Horace Mayor Kory Peterson.

Right now, there are more than 2700 people living in Horace. Mayor Kory Peterson said it’s projected to grow 220% over the next five to seven years and have outgrown their facility.

“I know that has been a comment that’s been made, but that’s not what the point here is,” said Peterson. The point is that something’s functional, so I don’t have staff sitting two feet away from each other."

Mayor Peterson says there’s talk of extending the new city hall in the next few years for a police department. The gym and underground parking would be used for officers and city vehicles.

“I’d like to try and have as much of the city resources pay for this and not have to go the taxpayers if we don’t have to,” said Peterson. “We will probably have to do some, but I don’t want them to have to pay the full thing on this. I don’t believe that’s right.”

Those questioning the proposal say they just want their voices to be heard and don’t believe what’s proposed is needed.

Here’s the link to find the proposal and petition drive.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the City of Fargo said they used a sale of bonds for constructing its city hall for 2018.

Those bonds will be repaid over the next several years, but the city said they were fortunate to be bonding at a time of very low-interest rates.

We also checked with West Fargo, which is building a new $10,000,000 fire department.

The City of Moorhead said there are no major building projects currently.

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