West Fargo POW/MIA Plaza Officially Opens as the City Says Thank You to Government Leaders

West Fargo Mayor Rich Mattern and Commissioners Duane Hanson and Mark Wentz say they are ending their careers with the city on a high note

WEST FARGO, N.D. — The City of West Fargo and the VFW are excited about the opening of the brand new POW/MIA Plaza on Sheyenne Street.

They say it has been a dream to open the space and now that vision has become a reality.

The city is hoping people in the community use the space for events, take advantage of the giant TV, and appreciate its value that’s been added to the downtown area.

City Commissioner Mark Simmons says if it wasn’t for the strong collaboration with the builders, the VFW and the city, this project wouldn’t have been possible.

“It’s very exciting this is something that we’ve dreamed about for years as part of the redevelopment downtown and this is basically the first entire phase of it. As we build further now to the north and we put up another three buildings and you’ll be able to see that and enjoy those spaces as well so downtown is alive,” Simmons said.

The new plaza is right next to the brand new VFW on Sheyenne Street.

West Fargo Mayor Rich Mattern and Commissioners Duane Hanson and Mark Wentz say they are ending their careers with the city on a high note.

As some are saying goodbye to governing West Fargo, others are saying hello to a new plaza.

“This was a dream of ours for a long, long time and so it finally came to fruition and it’s a proud moment for me to go out on,” Mattern said.

But many say projects like these wouldn’t have been possible without Mayor Rich Mattern.

“The mayor was the leader in all of this I mean he was our guiding force, he was the visionary in the dream,” Simmons says.

As the city continues to build, Mattern and Commissioners Duane Hanson and Mark Wentz are reminded of the hard work they put in all these years.

“Just thankful for the whole eight years that I had to spend here with the city…we have great employees to work, I’ve met so many wonderful people, I’ve learned a lot, it couldn’t be a better experience,” Hanson said.

Now that they are handing over the city to a new group of leaders, they hope the growth will continue.

“It’s about the progressive people that we have involved with the city whether it was the current city commission and the city staff, it seemed like we were always looking for that next thing what we could do and keep going and I think that’s very important and it’s been important for the success that West Fargo’s had,” Wentz said.

Whether it was the development near the interstate, the growth of Sheyenne Street or the influence with flood protection, Mattern has been through it all…

“I’d have to go through everything it would take me forever to get through everything but you know there are so many memories that I can live with,” Mattern said.

With each memory, comes a group of thanks from people within the community.

“You can’t even honestly put it into words the legacy that Mayor Mattern has left behind 20 years on the commission is hard enough in itself yet to see our community grow three times larger than it ever was before,” Simmons said.

These West Fargo leaders are leaving the city with some words of inspiration.

“I think we’re all very proud of what we’ve done and where we’ve gone,” Wentz said.

“It’s been a really great experience for me and I couldn’t ask for anything better,” Hanson said.

“Keep moving forward. Keep thinking big thoughts and think out of the box and the city will be fine,” Mattern said.

The three men were given different memorabilia from groups in the city to say thank you for their years of service.

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