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Dave Olson, Published March 21 2014

Inside Business: Marco’s Pizza plans Fargo store, others

Fargo -- Marco’s Pizza, which recently opened stores in West Fargo and Grand Forks, is looking to open a south Fargo location within the next three months.

That’s according to Joe Deck, area representative for Marco’s Pizza, which is based in Toledo, Ohio.

Deck wouldn’t disclose the exact location of the new Fargo store, but he said it will be on South University Drive in an area just south of Interstate 94.

The Fargo restaurant is part of a major Marco’s Pizza expansion planned for North Dakota, said Deck, who is recruiting qualified franchise owners to open locations in Bismarck, Devils Lake, Dickinson, Jamestown, Minot, Valley City and Williston.

He said north Fargo and Moorhead are also possibilities for future locations.

In addition to the Grand Forks and West Fargo stores, there are two Marco’s Pizza locations in the Minneapolis area and one in Rapid City, S.D.

Overall, the brand has more than 425 stores in 32 states.

Deck said Marco’s Pizza does most of its business through pick-up and delivery, though the restaurants have tables and chairs for people who want to sit down and eat.

Looking for workers

Strong demand for construction workers in North Dakota and South Dakota has prompted six trade organizations to form Dakota Construction Careers, a coalition of construction professionals whose goal is to find and recruit people for the building trades.

“We’re searching for motivated workers who are eager to learn a trade and start a new career,” said Glen Johnson, business manager of Operating Engineers Local 49, referring to the coalition.

The group plans a series of open houses that will start the last weekend in March and continue through the middle of May.

Open houses will be in various locations around North Dakota, including the cities of Williston, Minot, Dickinson, Bismarck, Fargo, Jamestown, Grand Forks and Devils Lake.

In Fargo, the open houses will be from 4 to 8 p.m. April 25 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 26 at the Kelly Inn, 3800 Main Ave.

For details on other times and locations, visit www.dakotaconstructioncareers.com, or check out Dakota Construction Careers on Facebook.

Open house attendees can learn about careers and training opportunities for jobs that include bricklayers, cement masons and plasterers, iron workers, heavy equipment operators and painters.

The pay for such jobs can be impressive, with individuals who complete an apprentice program for heavy equipment operators earning as much as $50 an hour.

Aiding post-flood efforts

A total of 21 banks and credit unions in North Dakota have taken part in the Rebuilders Loan programs developed by the North Dakota Legislature to assist residents in rebuilding after flooding in 2011 devastated Minot and surrounding communities

The programs offered loans at a 1 percent interest rate.

Fargo-area banks and credit unions that each serviced more than 100 loans as part of the programs include: Bremer Bank, First International Bank & Trust, Gate City Bank and Town & Country Credit Union.

“The 1 percent interest rate for the programs gave hope and help to many people who would otherwise have been in a tough financial situation,” said Forrest Hatchard, loan officer with Gate City Bank’s Minot office.

As part of the Rebuilders Loan programs, Gate City Bank has processed and serviced more than 500 loans worth $16 million.

ND taxpayer friendly

A new report from WalletHub, a personal finance social network, ranks North Dakota as the ninth-best state for taxpayers.

Minnesota is ranked 38th in the report, which analyzes how the 50 states and the District of Columbia compare to the national median in terms of 10 taxation categories.

According to the report, Wyoming is the friendliest state, with an average tax bill for state and local taxes of $2,365, which is 66 percent lower than the national average.

South Dakota ranked fifth, with an average state and local tax bill of $3,766.

North Dakota’s average state and local tax bill was listed as $5,588, while Minnesota’s was listed as $8,261.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555