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Dave Olson, Published December 10 2012

Former Sunmart building to be new home of Fargo Cass Public Health

FARGO – The former Sunmart/Osco building in south Fargo will get a new life as the home of the Fargo Cass Public Health Department.

The City Commission Monday approved spending about $3 million to purchase the approximately 58,000-square-foot structure at 13th Avenue and 25th Street South.

City officials say the building, which has sat empty for a number of years, will be remodeled to accommodate the health department as well as the Fargo Police Department, which has its headquarters downtown but is looking to set up a large satellite presence in south Fargo.

The purchase and remodeling costs together will likely run more than

$10 million, with the money to come from dollars the city has been saving, as well as from future state aid payments, according to Pat Zavoral, city administrator.

Zavoral told commissioners the remodeling of the former Sunmart property would likely take six months to design and 14 to 16 months to construct.

Officials said the new arrangement will allow the health department to house under a single roof a number of services now provided at several locations around Fargo.

Once the transition takes place, the health department’s current location in downtown Fargo will be used by the Police Department and the city assessor’s office.

In addition to the Sunmart building, the commission also approved the purchase of property at 510 23rd St. N. for approximately $130,000. The property is adjacent to the city’s central garage and bus maintenance facility.

In other business, the commission approved selling city water at a rate of 60 cents per 1,000 gallons for a snow-making operation proposed for the Dike East sledding hill.

Commissioner Brad Wimmer said about $6,000 in private funds have been raised to produce snow at the sledding hill this winter, a plan he hopes will receive approval from the Fargo Park Board tonight.

If that happens, Wimmer said snow making could begin Wednesday.

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