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Chuck Chadwick, Published September 18 2013

Letter: MetroCOG session in Moorhead points way for the city’s future

Living in the moment is commonplace and, of course, comfortable. Fortunately, there are some among us for whom planning for “today” means what is going to be required in the year 2040.

One of those organizations is the Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Council of Governments (MetroCOG). They are the Metropolitan Planning Organization for the Fargo-Moorhead area. Executive Director Wade E. Kline admirably leads this most important group.

Kline and his group are in the process of updating the Metropolitan Long Range Transportation Plan, which is updated every five years and plans 30 years out. There have been three opportunities for residents to provide opinions, thoughts and ideas for the future course of city development, including the transportation needs for automobiles, pedestrians, bicyclists and the public transit systems.

Moorhead’s session, “Planning for the Future: Metro 2040 – Mobility for the Future,” was held at the Hjemkomst Center on Sept. 10. I had the opportunity to be at the table with an extremely informative group, including Moorhead City Council member Mike Hulett; Jim Steen, Moorhead Economic Development Authority; Roger Richards, Town & Country Oil; Wayne Kazmierczak, assistant superintendent, Moorhead schools; Jeff Quam, JAQ Garage; and Dave Anderson, public affairs director, Sanford Health.

Throughout the two and a half hour planning session, these concerned and very knowledgeable individuals shared their ideas and thoughts on the regional transportation improvements and priorities. I was quite impressed with the depth of knowledge and details that each of them shared during the exercise in prioritizing which transportation projects are essential within the available fund limitations.

It was an informative evening observing the group pondering and adjusting plans as different facets were presented, such as the future school growth plans. The exercise was another example of how important it is to have all of the community’s partners involved on a day-to-day basis in order to have a robust and vibrant region.

As this is one of the goals of the Moorhead Business Association, we invite and encourage our three main economic drivers, county, city and school district to join the business community in shaping the Moorhead landscape: After all, “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”– Yogi Berra.

My experience is that with such resources and individuals, Yogi doesn’t have a thing to worry about.

Chadwick is executive director, Moorhead Business Association.