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Dave Olson, Published May 25 2010

Moorhead City Council gives OK to move buyout home

The Moorhead City Council on Monday approved a controversial moving permit and gave the green light to roadwork and other improvements for First Avenue North.

After tabling the moving permit at a recent meeting, the council took up the question again Monday and gave the OK for Amber and Joel Ferrie to move a house from 3151 Rivershore Drive to a lot in the Johnson Farms subdivision.

At the earlier meeting and again at Monday night’s council meeting, residents of the subdivision urged the council not to approve the permit, arguing the home, which was part of a flood buyout program, is not a good fit with other homes in the area that have higher dollar values.

They also maintain it does not conform to covenants other homeowners in the subdivision signed.

Speaking to the council Monday, Amber Ferrie acknowledged that covenant issues have created a legal battle between residents of Johnson Farms and its developer, but she said those issues are a matter for private parties to resolve and she urged council members to approve the moving permit as recommended by city staff.

Six council members voted to approve the permit.

Council Members Mark Hintermeyer and Greg Lemke voted no, stating they wanted to give parties more time to negotiate an agreement that might resolve the dispute.

The improvement project approved for First Avenue North carries a price tag of $3.1 million and will include a new street surface from Eighth Street to 17th Street.

It will also include new or reconstructed sidewalks from Eighth Street to 21st Street.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555