Tales of Two Cities

If you remember from last week I was talking about the effect of opening on Sunday, both for the business and personal.  Now the reason for the title:

Before North Dakota allowed stores to be open on Sunday, Moorhead, MN had it made in a shade.  When Fargo was closed on Sunday, Moorhead was open and so the people went across the river to shop on Sunday after church.  My family did that when we lived in West Fargo, before moving on the farm, south of Hawley.

That was one of the reason Kmart opened their Moorhead Kmart store.  They did that so they can get even more business.

When they did that, Tempo; which was located in the old Holiday Mall became scared and closed up.

Then in the early ’90’s, the people of North Dakota voted to overturn the blue law to allow stores to be open on Sunday.  This really hurt Moorhead.  It’s their own fault though.

For years, Moorhead had the upper hand over Fargo by being open on Sunday.  Why didn’t they prepare for the inevitable.  They saw the signs that eventually Fargo will have stores open on Sunday.  It was poor city planning from their city managers.

Sure, there is no sales tax on clothes.  To have a business in Moorhead, you have to pay extra taxes in other areas.  No incentives!!.  No tax breaks!!  The city of Fargo took advantage of that and was able to win businesses back over.  What Moorhead should had done when they saw the possibility of North Dakota overturning the blue law to allow stores to be open on Sunday was done something to prepare for it.

Because they didn’t they lost a lot of business to both Fargo and West Fargo.  Shortly after, the city of Moorhead started struggling financially.

I’m not saying Fargo was perfect though.  They had made their mistake also.  When West Acre was built, there was nothing out there at the time.  Between West Acre and West Fargo was nothing but field and farm lands.  The mistake that the city of Fargo made was:  They didn’t think that West Acre would do very well way out there.  So they allow that area to be a part of the West Fargo’s school district.  That was Fargo’s downfall and the boost West Fargo needed to grow.

West Fargo has been growing ever since.  They are no longer a suburb of Fargo. They are becoming a nice size town in their own rights.

By West Acre, it is just booming with businesses and homes.

The city of Moorhead loss became West Fargo gain.  I’m not sure of the population, but I wouldn’t doubt that West Fargo population is higher than Moorhead.

Right now West Fargo, Fargo, and Horace are in a land lock battle for space in that area.  Horace cannot grow east or north because of being land lock with Fargo and West Fargo.

To continue on poor city planning, let us take a look at other cities first in North Dakota; then in Minnesota.

At one time Grand Forks was the second largest city in North Dakota.  Now thanks the ’97’s flood, they lost a lot of people.  They are still recuperating from it.  They only drop down to third thank God though.

Bismarck became the second largest city now.  One of the thing that Bismarck did was merge with Mandan, calling themselves Bismarck-Mandan.

I remember when Jamestown was the fourth largest city in North Dakota.  Well they have shrunk quite a bit.  I have to say this about Jamestown.  The last time I was in Jamestown, I wasn’t very impress.  Even though my real father is buried in Jamestown and I have cousins there.  I have to say, to me Jamestown is a dive.

Now Minot also had grown quite a bit to overtake Jamestown as the fourth largest city in North Dakota.  At first, Minot only had the air force base but now with good city planning they saw other ways to keep the city growing.  The oil boom help a little bit.  I even think that Minot did a better job in preparing that Grand Forks did.

Grand Forks also has an air force base. They even have UND .  Somehow there is something still missing there.

Now back over on the Minnesota side.  First back to Moorhead.  They are struggling to rebuild.  I wish their new mayor lots of luck there.  I do have to admit this.  I hate taking the bus in Moorhead.  When you take the bus in Moorhead, you better knows your stops; otherwise you may not get back home.  They don’t stop every corner like Fargo’s busses.  Their streets aren’t mark properly enough.  They are not much better than Jamestown.  Sure those who rent gets a tax break.  I still wouldn’t want to live in Moorhead.

Dilworth also seems to be growing in the last few years.  They are in a land lock battle with Moorhead.  They can’t grow West and Moorhead cannot grow west or east.  Moorhead did make the same mistake Fargo made with West Acre.  The area between Moorhead and Dilworth is very much divided between them both.  Even though Wal-mart is in Moorhead, somehow Dilworth took claim of it.

The only way for Dilworth to really grow is going east.  That mean running into Glyndon.

Now Hawley has also grown since I graduated from high school in 1984.  They have now 2 city parks.  They took advantage of being right off the highway and moved businesses from being downtown and near the highway.  Very good city planning on their part.  If Hawley keeps grown east, they end up near Glyndon as well.  Then between Hawley and Dilworth, Glyndon could wipe out.

Barnsville  could also grow like Hawley; since they are just off the I94, but somehow Hawley, I think has outgrown Barnsville.

When you have poor city planning and city managers, it will hurt them.

I’m not saying I like seeing Hawley growing as fast as it did.  It took away the beauty of the country side nearby.  There is too many fancy houses out there that is just making it an eyesore.  We need our farmlands.  We need small town living.  Everything is moving way too fast in the city.  Love to be in these small towns, just to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of city life have.  When I retire, I’ll take small town life over the big cities any day.

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