Valley News Live kicked out of meeting discussing Fargo's building future

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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) Residents living in a Fargo building were at a meeting to learn about the fate of their apartments. However, before discussions even began our reporter was told to leave that meeting.

Yet, residents who call the Lashkowitz High Rise their home told us they’re concerned for their future.

“I'm hoping that when I move I'll have help,” Petria Maroney said. “Other people are wondering about that because they're not going to give us ample time to move.”

Plans were first announced months ago by the Fargo Housing and Redevelopment Authority to sell the High Rise.

The building has been a staple of the city’s skyline for decades and three meetings were held this week for the 247 tenants living there.

Tommy Jones said he’s been a resident at the High Rise for eight years.

“We all have basically become a family and you know it's hard to lose a family,” Jones said.

Jones said he attended all the meetings discussing the building’s future.

“It is what it is you know. I feel like a housing authority would do the best it can to make everybody happy and safe,” Jones said.

As soon as we stepped into Thursday’s 6:30 p.m. meeting, we were told to leave.

Fargo Housing and Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Matthew Pike was not clear in a phone conversation as to why we should leave.

The agency is publicly funded receiving money from the federal government.

Minutes before the meeting began, Deputy Director Jill Elliot gave us permission to attend after declining an on-camera interview.

Elliot said a few residents were leaving because of our presence.

A flyer Fargo Housing distributed to residents stated the agency is in the process of preparing an application for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development to sell the building.

According to the agency, there aren’t enough funds available for the extensive renovations the building needs.

The flyer stated the earliest FHRA will begin relocating residents is January of 2020 and they’ll also help residents find another apartment building to live.