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Forum staff reports, Published October 16 2010

Fargo city commissioner says he now supports sales tax

Fargo City Commissioner Mike Williams said Friday he now supports Cass County’s half-cent sales tax for a diversion channel and other flood control projects.

On Wednesday, when City Commissioner Dave Piepkorn came out publicly against the tax, Williams said he wanted clearer language in the joint powers agreement between the city and county to specify that upstream water storage projects will be eligible for the sales tax money.

But Williams said Friday that he wasn’t aware of a county policy adopted in August that governs how the sales tax proceeds will be spent. The policy states: “Funds may be expended for projects that provide benefit to Cass County residents but are physically constructed outside of the County boundaries such as retention projects.”

Williams said he’s asked county commissioners to refer to that policy in the joint powers agreement, and he’s satisfied it addresses his concern.

“That was my sole hang-up with this sales tax,” he said.