Consultant: City has its advantagesA city planning consultant said Jamestown has some advantages and obstacles when it comes to future development. Cindy Gray, planner with SRF Consulting Group of Fargo, spoke to city and county leaders and the public during a special joint meeting of the City Council and Stutsman County Commission Wednesday.
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
A city planning consultant said Jamestown has some advantages and obstacles when it comes to future development.
Cindy Gray, planner with SRF Consulting Group of Fargo, spoke to city and county leaders and the public during a special joint meeting of the City Council and Stutsman County Commission Wednesday.
“Your advantages are your ideal location between Fargo and Bismarck with major transportation corridors and an attractive environment,” Gray said. “This is a place close enough to oil but far enough away it hasn’t experienced the rapid growth.”
One of the major obstacles the community faces is financial.
“How do you handle financing of new infrastructure without putting the community at risk while still making the community advantageous to the developer?” she said.
Gray particularly talked about the potential growth associated with the planned Cenex Harvest States Spiritwood Nitrogen Project.
“The fertilizer plant means a potential 150 new households and 300 or more people,” she said. “How can that growth be guided to improve quality of life?”
Gray said one particular challenge is short-term housing for construction workers versus permanent housing for the plant’s staff. She suggested adding a temporary trailer park or other mobile housing might help the community.
“Temporary housing is good in situations like this but it is often not done well,” she said. “There are often problems with law enforcement and other issues.”
Gray said the construction workers are more likely to rent a home or apartment while the permanent workers at the plant are more likely to buy homes.
Some city officials see the community’s history as another obstacle.
“The city has no experience in recent memory of growth,” said Reed Schwartzkopf, city engineer speaking after Gray’s presentation.
Mayor Katie Andersen said the city is trying to address that problem.
“We have some goals and are working on updating our ordinances,” she said also after the presentation. “But we haven’t tackled some of the zoning and haven’t developed a plan for updating infrastructure. That needs to happen for the next phase of development.”
Andersen said some of the planning needs might require working with some outside experts.
“We have some staffing needs,” she said. “It is possible we might hire a consultant if that would fit our needs.”
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org