A look back at issues Fargo faced in 2021 with Mayor Dr. Tim Mahoney
FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) – The pandemic, permanent flood protection and filling hundreds of open jobs.
There have been a lot of difficult issues Fargo has faced this year. Austin Erickson spoke with Mayor Dr. Tim Mahoney to see how the city fared amidst the obstacles.
“The biggest thing that’s really happened for Fargo is F-M Diversion is now going through. So, this year we finally got through the bid from the P3 people and that came through. That’s like your mortgage came through on your house. You finally have the money to afford the project. So, what I’m really excited about is they’re going to be full bore next year. They should be done by the end of ’26 and completed by ’27,” Mahoney said.
“How is the city doing economically amid the pandemic?” Austin Erickson asked.
“It’s truly amazing. Our community has outperformed any other community in the Midwest. Amazon came in and built its fulfillment center. This year… You’d think now this stuff would start to slow down. This year we had $740 million worth of permits. Number one job market is Fargo in the nation that you can find a job for,” Mahoney explained.
“With Amazon, are they paying any business taxes at all?” Erickson asked.
“They do pay business taxes. They’ll pay taxes for the land and the building. They had no tax breaks,” Mahoney said.
“You are, I would say, a North Dakota leader. I think that’s fair to say. And a lot of people that come into hospitals, they may not be from Fargo. I believe Sanford Health and Essentia Health serve all of Clay County and Cass County. So, as a surgeon, as a North Dakota leader, what would you tell people who think COVID is a myth? I don’t need to get vaccinated. I don’t believe any of this,” Erickson asked.
“Well, it’s been very hard to watch because my administrator at work, his brother died of COVID in his 50’s. That’s really hard to see happening to somebody. He didn’t think it was that bad of a disease and indeed he got it and he died from it. So, I would say to people you’re helping your neighbor because the other thing we know is if you need to go to the hospital for a heart attack or trauma or anything else. We have the number one trauma center from here to Seattle. People do come into our facility. And you’re right. All over North Dakota, all over Minnesota come to Fargo now. And when that happens, you need to have space for other people. So, if you are smart about it, you’d get a vaccine and hopefully would not get a bad disease if you get COVID and you’ll get through this,” Mahoney explained.
“A judge ruled you can run for another term. You fought hard for what you believe is your right to seek a third term after you filled Mayor Walaker’s term after he died. Why is this fight so important to you and why do you feel you’re the best person to lead Fargo once again?” Erickson asked.
“That’s a loaded question! When I originally went through this, in our rules we have for the City of Fargo, a death is unusual. So, the death of a mayor is unusual and you have what you call an unexpired term where you don’t fill the term. When I got legal advice on this, everybody felt, ‘No, Tim. You can run really because it’s an interrupted term.’ Which I’m pleased. The reason I’d like to do another four years is the big things and challenges coming to the City of Fargo. We’ve got the flood project, but we also have to be drought protected. The Red River Valley water supply is a project that I’ve been working on. I’m the chairman of the WAWA group that works on this. We’ve started the project. We’re nine percent into that project, but we have to move even further to make it a viable project,” Mahoney said.