LIVE BURN – Is this burn training safe for the environment?
Permits have been applied for and approved by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and proper notification has been given to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). Hazardous substances such as asbestos, mercury, and other listed substances were removed from the properties after a thorough inspection by licensed contractors in accordance with MPCA rules. The burned remains will be deposited in the Clay County Sanitary Landfill, a lined landfill also in accordance with MPCA regulations for burned materials.
LIVE BURN – What exactly will you be doing and when that might affect me?
Wednesday evening, September 28th will have the greatest impact potential. Our crews and Fire Technology students from M|State will begin arriving on-site at about 5:00 pm. We will take quite a bit of time setting up for the final burn training. We will be building controlled ignition stations with straw and wood pallets. We will be laying out fire hoses, barricading off streets, and setting up the detour on 11th St N. We plan to begin the actual fire training at about 6:00 pm, but this will vary based on the amount of prep time needed. We want all preparation to be complete before we begin.
Once ready we will ignite our first house. Keep in mind that two days of interior fire training will have already occurred by this point. This last phase of training will be to complete a fill burn down of the structures. The full burn down may take up to an hour for each of the homes. The second home will be ignited when the fire in the first home has burned down to a safe level that no longer requires constant attention from our crews. This will continue until all four homes have burned.
Our crews may remain on-site for several hours while the fires smolder in the basements. 11th St N will reopen when conditions are no longer distracting. The basements may continue to smolder for a couple of days before the remains are removed to an approved landfill.
LIVE BURN – Isn’t there an alternative way of conducting this training that won’t impact the neighborhood?
In the case of fire investigation training, there is no substitute for conducting experimental and experiential training in conditions fire investigators will find when working back in their jurisdictions. The Clay County Courthouse Campus Expansion project provides us with a very rare opportunity. There are no homes immediately adjacent to the building we are burning in. There is a full block of buffer in all directions, and in some directions, several blocks before home are impacted. This is about the lowest possible level of impact we can envision in a developed city. These conditions cannot be simulated in classrooms or laboratories without great expense. The training is so valuable, that fire investigators are attending from across Minnesota and North Dakota.
LIVE BURN – What should I do if I see something I think is unsafe during the live burns?
If you are able to attract the attention of one of our fire department members during the training, feel free to communicate your concern. If you cannot, or you feel it is not safe to do so, please call 911. We would prefer to check out a hundred safety concerns that are actually safe upon investigation that have one safety problem cause an injury or property loss because someone felt they maybe shouldn’t call 911.
LIVE BURN – Why are firefighters wearing different kinds of clothing?
The Moorhead Fire Department is also working with students of the fire technology program at Minnesota State Community and Technical College to provide them practical fire fighting experience during this training. They wear many different kinds of fire fighting clothing donated from many area departments.
LIVE BURN – Are spectators allowed to watch during the live burns?
Yes. Visitors are allowed to watch during the live burns. We are asking all visitors to stay on the South of 9th Ave N. The parking lot of the Courthouse and the sidewalks along the south side of 9th Ave N might be natural places to watch. There are no good places to simply park your vehicle and watch from inside a car.
LIVE BURN – Why is 11th St N being closed?
We are burning four homes on Wednesday, September 27th, 2016 beginning at or after 5:00 pm. Safety is a primary consideration for us. The burns will be spectacular at times and will be very distracting for drivers. When the home at 1120 9th Ave N is burned, smoke conditions may also cause hazardous travel. We expect to detour traffic from about 6:00 pm until about 10:00 pm.
LIVE BURN - Should I be concerned about hazardous substances in the smoke?
Our personnel wear Self Contained Breathing Apparatus when they fight fires inside of structures because of highly concentrated smoke that contains some toxic materials and does not contain adequate oxygen to breathe. Firefighters that operate outside of, but within about 50 feet of burning structures also wear breathing protection because of the concentrated materials in the smoke. Beyond that distance, our staff tends to operate without breathing protection as the smoke is dissipated by mixing with outdoor air and lifting higher into the atmosphere due to the heat contained in the smoke. The basic rule is the closer to the fire you are, the more hazardous the smoke is.
LIVE BURN - What do I need to do if there are smoke odors in my neighborhood?
If there are odors of smoke in your neighborhood that you find objectionable, you should first close your windows and doors. You may also want to consider temporarily shutting down your Heating/Ventilation/Air Conditioning system to avoid drawing outside air into your home until the smoke odors have cleared.
How do I apply for public housing?
You are able to apply for public housing on the website by clicking on How to Apply at the top of this page. If you need further assistance, you can call 218.299.5458.
Where are the apartment homes located?
The PHA owns the River View Heights Apartments which are located at 800 Second Avenue North, with preference for disabled and elderly individuals. There are designated elderly only apartments at Sharp View which are located at 920 5th Avenue South. The PHA also owns 6 three bedroom duplexes (12 units), 15 scattered site homes (3 and 4 bedrooms), and 3 townhome apartments (2 bedrooms).
How much do I pay for rent?
Your rent is based on 30% of your gross adjusted income. The Moorhead PHA staff will determine your exact rent amount.
Where do I pay my rent?
You can pay your rent at the MPHA office. The drop box is located in the front entry of the River View Heights office. There is also a drop box on the main floor in the Sharp View apartments.
If Maintenance repairs something and I’m not home, how do I know they fixed it?
Maintenance will leave a note notifying you they have been there
Will I be charged for repairs made to my apartment?
Residents are not charged for normal wear and tear maintenance needs in their unit. However, if damage is caused due to tenant abuse or negligence, the resident will be charged for the cost of repairs.
What do I do if I’m locked out of my apartment?
During Moorhead PHA working hours, call 218.299.5458. If it’s after hours, call Dispatch phone at 218.299.8791.
What do I do if I need something fixed in my apartment?
You can call 218.299.5458 during working hours or 701.299.8791 after working hours.
How do I apply for Section 8?
The Section 8 waiting list is currently closed. When it opens, we will post information on the website as well as in the Fargo Forum.
Can I move to another city and still keep my Section 8?
A Housing Choice Voucher is portable to another city. If you are considering moving, you should contact the Section 8 staff where you applied for your voucher so there is not a delay in your assistance.
What is Family Self Sufficiency?
Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) is a program from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) connecting housing assistance and supportive services to eligible families with a HCV. The goal of the FSS Program is to enable current families and individuals participating in the HCV program to take control of their lives, becoming economically and socially independent through the coordination and delivery of existing community services. FSS assists families and individuals with acquiring the skills needed to achieve financial independence and the pride that goes with it.
What do I do if my income changes?
If you reside in public housing and have a change in income, you must report it to the MPHA within 10 days.
What do I do if I get married, divorced or have a child?
If you have a change in your household composition, you must report that change within 30 days to the Section 8 Staff.
What do I do if I need something fixed in my house?
You should contact your landlord.
What does the Street Light Utility charge pay for?
The Street Light Utility fee finances operating and maintaining all street lights citywide. This fee is not based on the number of street lights on or near your property, but similar to fees for Pest and Forestry services, the program is structured to provide street lights citywide for the benefit of the entire community. Single family homes, multifamily apartments, and businesses pay for street lights according to the approved City of Moorhead fee schedule.
What's my voting location?
This map details ward and precinct boundaries and polling locations for City of Moorhead residents. The Elections webpage includes additional voting information and resources.
What makes my property tax bill change from year to year?
a. My property’s value
b. My neighbor’s property value
c. My city council, my county board, and my school board
d. The state Legislature
e. All of the above
Answer: All of the above.
The decisions of your city council, county board, and school board about the amount of tax dollars they need to deliver services may be the most obvious factor in your property tax bill. But the value of your property, the total value of all the property in your community, changes in state programs, and changes in state laws that affect the tax system also play a role. Changes in any of these factors can make your tax bill go up in some years and down in others.
Some of the local news coverage talks about city budgets and other coverage talks about city levies. Are they the same thing?
The property tax levy is the amount of money that the city (or other local government) decides it needs to collect from property owners in order to deliver services. Property taxes, however, are just part of the overall city budget. The budget includes both discretionary spending (for services the city is free to choose to provide) and non-discretionary spending (to meet obligations such as paying off debt). The budget includes all the dollars that the city collects from various sources—fees, grants, revenue sharing, and property taxes.
Your property tax bill is a total of taxes owed to several local governments and, for some types of property,
to the state. Cities, counties, school districts, and townships are separate governments. They all collect money through the property tax in order to provide services. Special districts, like watershed districts, also collect property taxes, but those taxes are usually a very small part of the total bill. The state collects property taxes from business property and seasonal/recreational property such as cabins.
Local governments get the money they use to deliver services from a few different sources: property taxes, fees, revenue sharing with the state, and grants. Property tax dollars pay for the services that everyone in the community—as well as visitors, commuters, and tourists—can access. This includes things like streets, police and fire services, parks, and libraries. Other services—like economic development programs to help businesses grow and develop, snowplowing, garbage removal, and recycling are also typically paid for with property tax dollars.
For efficiency, counties have been designated by the state Legislature to administer most aspects of the property tax system on behalf of all local governments. County staff calculate the tax bills for each property in the community and then collect tax payments from property owners. After your property taxes are paid, the county then properly distributes the money to the various local governments and to the state.
Most property owners pay their taxes in two installments—the first half in May and the second half in October. This semi-annual payment occurs even if your property taxes are collected by your mortgage company with your monthly mortgage payment.
I get several property tax statements each year. How do I make sense of them?
Generally, three statements are sent to property owners each year: one in November, and two statements generally in March or April. The November statement shows you the amount of taxes local governments are proposing to collect in the following year. It will include an estimate of what your tax bill will be. Local governments can decrease the amount of taxes they will collect as they finalize their budgets, but they cannot increase the amount after this notice goes out, except in very limited circumstances such as natural disasters.
The second notice that you receive generally in March or April is a notice of the estimated value of your property and the property’s “use” classification (e.g., homestead, apartment, commercial, etc.), which is also known as the property assessment. All property is valued at its market value and classified according to its use on Jan. 2 of each year. Any improvements or destruction made to a property after Jan. 2 will be evaluated for the following year’s assessment.
The valuation of your property provided on the annual valuation notice is not used to compute your property taxes until the next calendar year. So, the spring 2014 valuation notice will be used for taxes payable in 2015. This is because all property owners have the right to challenge the valuation of the property. Information on how to contest a property’s valuation is contained on the valuation notice.
The third notice, generally received in March of each year, is the actual tax bill. It will show what you owe in property taxes to each local government—your county, city or township, school district, any special district, and the state. Some local governments will also include information about the kinds of services that the property tax dollars will support.
There is something labeled “homestead exclusion” on my tax statement. What is that?
A relatively new state program excludes some of the value of many residential homesteads from property taxes, meaning taxes are not paid on that portion. The statement will show you how much of the assessed value of your homestead is excluded from taxation.
If I make an improvement or addition to my house, will I pay more in property taxes?
In some cases, yes, but not necessarily. The change in your tax bill depends on a lot of factors other than changes in the value of your home. It is also affected by things like whether all the properties in the city taken together (tax base) grow or shrink in value, whether the local governments collect more or less money in property tax, and changes to the tax system state lawmakers make. For example, let’s say you add a bedroom to your home, and its value increases by $20,000. If local governments don’t change how much property tax they need to collect and the rest of the tax base is unchanged, then you will pay more in property tax because your property is now a bigger piece of the pie. But if the tax base as a whole increases in value—maybe a new development was built—then your piece of the pie may not be bigger and you may not pay more in tax.
How does the city—or any local government—decide what services to provide?
City councils review the services they currently provide and think about what local preferences are and what population trends suggest about the kinds of services people will need. For example, one community might favor running its own pool while another does not see the need. Communities with lots of young families need to offer different kinds of services than communities seeing big increases in the number of senior residents. Sometimes cities have to provide certain services in order to comply with state or federal laws. Some common examples are requirements for testing drinking water and making public buildings accessible to people with disabilities.
How does the city decide how much to collect in property taxes?
Cities look at their costs—like gasoline, road salt, salaries, and building repairs. They also determine the amount of money the city needs to provide the services residents expect and depend on. Councils then examine the dollars coming into the city from other sources—like fees people pay to use the recreation center or to license their dogs, grants from state and federal governments, and state revenue sharing. Property taxes make up the gap between money coming in from non-tax sources and the money needed to run the city. Other local governments (e.g., counties, schools) go through a similar process to set their property tax amounts.
Last year, the taxes I had to pay to the county and school district were lower, but the taxes I had to pay to the city stayed about the same. Why did that happen?
One of the factors that affects whether your tax bill goes up or down is the change in value of all property within the taxing jurisdiction. In recent years, the value of farm property has grown significantly faster than that of other kinds of property such as residential homes and businesses. The property taxes collected by the county and the school districts are collected from a larger geographical area that includes many more farms than are the taxes collected by the city. That means the county and school district taxes get spread across a bigger tax base when those farm values increase, and your share of the tax pie for county and school district property tax shrinks. Your share of the city tax pie, though, may remain about the same.
Are property taxes the only way that the city takes in money?
Cities have several sources of revenue, but the two largest sources are property taxes and state revenue sharing. Property taxes are collected from the owners of homes, businesses, and farms within the city. State aid dollars, such as local government aid and municipal state aid for roads, are funded by the sales taxes, income taxes, and gas taxes that we all pay to the state. Some of those dollars are redistributed to cities through revenue sharing.
Cities also get money from a few other sources. One source of revenue is fees. Some examples of common fees that people pay to cities are for: dog licenses, building permits, use of the community pool, fines for failure to remove snow from the sidewalk, and water and sewer services. Cities also get some money from grants. These come from the state or federal government and are used for very specific purposes such as a building improvement.
State law spells out all aspects of the property tax system. All properties within cities are classified as one of more than 50 types according to the system set by state policymakers. Property types include home, commercial, apartment building, farm, bed and breakfast, railroad, and duplex. Each property type is assigned a classification rate. This indicates what portion of the property’s value is taxable.
The state also implements programs, such as fiscal disparities and tax increment financing, which can affect tax bills. The fiscal disparities programs operate in the metro area and on the Iron Range. Through these programs, part of the tax dollars that cities collect are from the regional tax base. This shifts some of the tax burden. With tax increment financing, cities can finance public improvements over time with the tax dollars collected on new development such as an industrial park.
The state also imposes mandates that require cities and other local governments to do certain things. These mandates can increase costs for cities and counties. Many mandates are for good reasons, like the rules to maintain clean drinking water. But they do result in pressure on city budgets.
From time to time, the state Legislature has also imposed “levy limits” on larger cities and counties.
In some cases, these limits can require cities and counties to reduce the amount of property tax dollars they collect.
The state has increased funding for direct property tax relief over the last few years. There are a few different programs through which property owners and renters can get help with their property taxes. These programs provide state-paid refunds for qualifying property owners. There is another program in which seniors can defer some of the property taxes that they owe.
I’ve been looking forward to lower electric rates in Oakport. When will that happen?
Oakport residents receive Moorhead Public Service (MPS) electric service and MPS rates once electric service is transferred to MPS. MPS has acquired the electric service territory from Red River Valley Cooperative Power Association (RRVCPA), and is in the process of acquiring the electric service territory from Xcel Energy. Electric service territory is expected to be transferred from Xcel Energy to MPS by September 30, 2017. Sign up for e-Notification (Oakport Annexation) for updates as they become available.
What will my electric cost be after the Oakport electric service buyout?
An Electric Service Extension surcharge is charged to MPS customers in newly-acquired service areas. The surcharge rate was defined in the Orderly Annexation Agreement as one-half of the per kWh rate difference between MPS and the current electric provider. For example, if the current electric provider charges $0.12/kWh and the MPS rate is $0.10/kWh the Tract 2 customer will pay $0.11/kWh until the buyout expenses are recouped. As rates between the current electric utilities and MPS change, the surcharge will be adjusted; however, at no time after the buyout will a Tract 2 resident pay more for electricity than they would have with their previous electric utility supplier. Once the buyout expenses are recouped, Tract 2 rates will be the same as in the rest of the City of Moorhead.
Will I need to relocate my electric meter when MPS becomes my electric provider?
Only Tract 2 residents who are upgrading or relocating an existing service will be required to relocate an interior meter to the outside of the house. Following acquisition of the electric service territory, MPS will be replacing existing meters with MPS meters at no charge (by appointment if the meter is located inside the home). There is a monthly service charge for secondary/additional service meters as necessary for dual fuel systems or other purposes (currently $2.00/month for each meter). Please note that residents with off peak or dual fuel systems are responsible to bring their systems into compliance with the MPS dual fuel program standards to receive the Moorhead dual fuel rates.
If my property is served by a private well, do I need to connect to Moorhead Public Service water?
UPDATED: What is the plan for streetlights in Oakport Tract 2?
At this time, there are no additional street lights planned within the Tract 2 area. Residents may also request placement of new street lights by submitting a street light request form.
UPDATED: Are Oakport residents paying City of Moorhead streetlight fees?
All Oakport properties in the Xcel service territory are now charged the same Street Light Utility Fee as other Moorhead residents pay. The City of Moorhead Street Light Utility fee finances the cost of operating and maintaining all street lights citywide. This fee is not based on the number of street lights on or near your property, but similar to fees for Pest and Forestry services, the program is structured to provide street lights citywide for the benefit of the entire community. Single family homes, multifamily apartments, and businesses pay for street lights according to the approved City of Moorhead fee schedule.
Is there an emergency siren in the Oakport Tract 2 area?
An emergency warning siren has been installed in the Oakport Tract 2 area.
How will future flood mitigation issues be addressed in Oakport?
The City of Moorhead Engineering Department will continue to advance flood control to minimize flood risk in Oakport and the rest of the City of Moorhead by:
Estimating costs, funding sources, and allocation of costs
Gathering public input
Making recommendations to the City Council
Moorhead’s Engineering Department will evaluate pending projects and support projects that meet the community’s flood mitigation goals. After initial public input in September 2016, further funding evaluation of and coordination by residents affected by the North Moorhead Flood Mitigation Project is in process.
Will the City take ownership of the Tract 2 levees?
Not at this time. The levees remain under the jurisdiction of the Buffalo Red River Watershed District. All properties within the BRRWD pay a general administration tax based on their property value/tax capacity. BRRWD charges a special assessment to properties benefiting from projects such as the Oakport levee project or a ditch project. In addition, Oakport residents that are within the Oakport Levee project area are charged a levee maintenance fee on their tax statement; this levee maintenance fee will continue to apply to benefiting properties while the infrastructure is maintained by the BRRWD.
Will the City pursue FEMA accreditation of the Tract 2 west levee?
This levee is under the jurisdiction of the Buffalo Red River Watershed District. The Watershed would be the entity that would pursue accreditation.
Who mows Tract 2 ditches?
Homeowners continue to be responsible to mow ditches abutting their property. Buffalo Red River Watershed District maintains Ditch 67 (along north side of McCann’s Addition/south of Wall Street) as well as the ditches along the levee.
What are the future plans for existing and new roads in Oakport?
Existing roads aree maintained through a joint agreement of Clay County and the City of Moorhead Public Works Department. The City of Moorhead Engineering Department conducts ongoing, long range planning for transportation issues. The transportation needs in Oakport are now part of citywide planning.
Will the City maintain private roads in Oakport?
No. The City will not maintain private roads but maintains all public roads in the city unless they are maintained by another public jurisdiction such as MnDOT or Clay County.
If I have a gravel driveway now, do I have to pave it?
No. Existing gravel driveways are not required to be improved with asphalt or concrete.
Can undeveloped property in Oakport be subdivided for development?
Yes. Subdivision are regulated by Moorhead subdivision standards and guided by the North Moorhead/Oakport Township Future Land Use Map.
Will sidewalks be required in existing Oakport Tract 2 neighborhoods?
No.For future subdivisions, sidewalks will be reviewed during the platting process.
Can I burn leaves at my Oakport home?
Yes. Between September 15 and December 1, leaf burning is allowed in the Oakport neighborhood as conditions permit. Instead of getting a permit from the Dilworth Fire Department, get a no-cost permit from the Moorhead Fire Department so the Department is aware of open burning activities.
Where can I use my snowmobile in Oakport?
Snowmobiles can be used on private property and dedicated snowmobile routes have been established along specific county and local roads.
Where can I use my ATV in Oakport Tract 2?
Class 2 ATVs are allowed on shoulder areas of improved roadways (not state trunk highways – state law).
Hunters must have proper Minnesota license in possession and follow all carry and transport laws for weapons.
Hunter must obtain permission of the private property owner and/or Buffalo Red River Watershed Board if using their land.
Shotgun only for deer with slug (single projectile) from elevated stand of 5 feet.
Waterfowl and Turkey hunting from ground level is acceptable within normal state restrictions.
Must be at least 500 feet from any human occupied buildings, public right of way, or livestock unless hunter has written permission of land owner.
Ground level hunting is acceptable within normal state restrictions.
Must be at least 200 feet away from human occupied buildings, public right of way, or livestock unless hunter has written permission of land owner.
Target practice is allowed
Must be 200 feet from any buildings not owned by target shooter unless has written permission from landowner.
A suitable back stop is required.
Can be inside a building with a suitable backstop.
Hunters must remove field dressing entrails on public lands and within 200 feet of property lines if on private lands in order not to attract predators and to avoid unsightliness.
The Oakport property I own has a recorded Conditional Use Permit allowing horses. Did the annexation impact the Conditional Use Permit?
No. If your property has a recorded Conditional Use Permit (CUP) allowing horses, the CUP will continue to apply. Furthermore, if the property is sold, the CUP will apply to future owners.
Does the City of Moorhead help with sanitary sewer service repairs?
The City of Moorhead does have a policy to assist with cost participation or voluntary special assessments in the event of a sewer line break or collapse. The type of assistance available depends on the location of the damaged sewer pipe (public or private property). Please note, qualifying repairs will not be reimbursed retroactively. Your first step should be to contact the wastewater division by phone at 218.299.5386 or email.
My neighbor’s lawn hasn’t been mowed yet this season. How can this be addressed?
The City does conduct code enforcement for weeds and mowing violations. If you notice a property in Moorhead that has tall grass or noxious weeds and are not comfortable speaking to the property owner directly, please make a report or call the Neighborhood Services Division at 218.299.5434. Your name will not be released to the property owner.
How many cats and dogs can I have at my home?
You may have no more than 3 dogs and/or 3 cats over six months of age (3 pets total). There is an exception to this limit, you may request a permit from the police department to have an additional 2 dogs or cats as part of a qualified home associated with an organization for rescue or sheltering of abandoned or lost animals. Time limits and additional requirements do apply. Animal control is included in Title 3 Chapter 7 of the Moorhead City Code.
Do I need a pet license for my dog or cat?
Dogs and cats do need to be licensed annually. You will need to provide current rabies vaccination information from your veterinarian. You can license your pet online or in person at the Police Department.
How does the City of Moorhead publish important news and notices?
Legal and public notices will be published in the City’s official newspaper, the FM Extra. If you would like to receive notices, service alerts, and other City of Moorhead communications directly through email, subscribe to e-Notification.
I have an old junk car that I don’t want anymore. How do I dispose of it?
Clay County Environmental Programs offers free removal of junked or unused cars and trucks. For additional information, contact Clay County Solid Waste at 218.299.7329 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do City Forestry charges pay for?
Monthly forestry fees cover:
Planting and replacement of trees throughout the city in new and existing neighborhoods on boulevards, rights-of-way, and city parks
Dutch Elm Disease Program: monitoring public and private lots (including the river corridor), removal of diseased elms and risk trees from boulevards and parks
Seasonal curbside branch collection and Christmas tree collection
Cyclical boulevard tree trimming
Storm response to clear streets and sidewalks
Consultation with the City Forester
What do Moorhead Pest Control charges cover?
Pest control fees cover animal and mosquito control and right-of-way maintenance.
What do Moorhead Stormwater charges pay for?
All City of Moorhead residents pay a monthly stormwater charge (currently $10.21 collected on the MPS utility billings) to manage the runoff from rain and snow melt. The cost covers the operation and maintenance of the stormwater system located in the public rights of way. The stormwater system includes catchbasins, manholes, storm sewers, public ditches, public culverts, stormwater ponds, and stormwater pumps stations which exist to varying degrees in both the City and Oakport.
Where can I get information about small business taxes?
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has information and publications available for download to help you file and pay your business taxes. Visit their website for more information.
Where can I get help in preparing financial projections, marketing studies, and loan applications?
The Small Business Development Center located at Concordia College’s Offutt School of Business has consultants to guide you through the process. Visit their website for more information.
Can I operate a a business out of my home?
Yes! As long as you reside there and have minimal customer or truck traffic. You may also have one outside employee and a sign posted on the structure of 16 square feet or less.
How do I register a business name in Minnesota?
The Minnesota Secretary of State website offers you a step-by-step instructions to assist you in starting your business, including registering your business name. Visit their website for more information.
Do I need a business license to operate in Moorhead?
Most business do not need a license to operate in Moorhead. Licenses are required for selling used cars, cigarettes, food, vending, liquor, lodging, and for most contractor or installation work in homes or businesses. Apply for a business license.
How can I receive notifications on City of Moorhead employment opportunities?
Sign up to receive Job Posting Notices. You can select the categories of job postings that you would like to receive emails about including law enforcement, fire service, clerical, skilled/trades, seasonal employment opportunities and more!
What benefits are provided to employees?
Full-time employees receive a number of benefits. The City of Moorhead provides employer-paid contributions toward health insurance, basic life insurance, and public retirement program. Additional elective benefits are also available to employees. Visit Employee Benefits for further details.
How do I claim Veterans’ Preference for employment?
State law outlines how veterans’ preference is applied to qualified candidates. If you are claiming veterans’ preference, you must submit proof of your eligibility (such as form DD214) along with your application for employment.
What is the City of Moorhead compensation plan?
In order to maintain pay equity compliance, as required by the State of Minnesota Local Government Pay Equity Act, municipalities are required to establish a job evaluation system to determine the comparable work value of each employee class. The City of Moorhead has established a job classification system and compensation plan for all employee job classes. This classification and compensation plan assigns a salary range for each job classification. These salary ranges are compared to actual wage rates in the market (competing employers/government entities) every few years. Employees are hired onto the wage schedule at a specific step and, assuming a favorable review, will advance to the next step on the wage schedule on an annual basis. Please view Labor Union Contacts for wage detail on specific union positions.
What data about applicants for employment are public?
According to state law, applicant data is private except when the applicant is certified as eligible for appointment to a vacancy or when applicants are finalists for a position in public employment. The following data on applicants is public: veteran status, job history, education and training, relevant test scores, rank on eligible list, and work availability.
Can two or more relatives work for the City of Moorhead at the same time?
The City of Moorhead restricts employment of more than one member of a family or persons related by blood or marriage if it creates a supervisory relationship. Employment of a family member refers to spouse, parent (including in-law), grandparents, aunts and uncles, children, sibling (including step and in-law), nieces and nephews, and significant others. There may be other sensitive positions or situations where placement of an employee’s family member is inappropriate and will not be allowed.
Are there handouts that tell me the codes for common remodeling projects I might do?
Do I need a permit to install a replacement water heater?
A plumbing permit is required to install a water heater.
Do I need a permit to install a heating appliance in my home and can I install it myself?
A mechanical permit is required for installation of all permanent heating and cooling appliances. Minnesota State Code does allow a homeowner to install their own heating and cooling appliances.
Do I need a permit to install electrical devises within my home?
An electrical permit is required and may be obtained by calling the Minnesota State Electrical Inspector, Rod Schaffer, at 701-235-2840.
Do I need a building permit to put a shed in my yard?
Building permits are required for any accessory building over 200 square feet. Regardless of size and if a permit is required, zoning regulations apply.
Do I need a building permit for a fence and where can I have a fence?
Fences are allowed in residential districts, up to the property line. No permits are required unless the fence is more than 7 feet tall. Refer to the Moorhead City Code for the ordinance regulating fences.
Do I need a building permit to shingle my roof?
What is an "Executive Session" of the City Council?
All official meetings of the Council are open to the public with the exception of executive sessions as allowed by law. Executive sessions, or closed meetings, are typically scheduled to follow the regular agenda items at a City Council Meeting. Executive sessions may be held under two circumstances:
To discuss labor negotiation strategies in accordance with the Minnesota Open Meeting Law.
To discuss threatened or pending litigation under attorney/client privilege.
What does it mean when the Council approves the "Consent Agenda"?
The City Manager places certain items of business on the consent agenda which are deemed to be routine and non-controversial in nature. Consent agenda items are noted with an asterisk ( * ). A member of the Council may remove any item from the consent agenda. Items removed shall become one of the regular agenda items of the meeting and is considered in its normal sequence on the agenda. All items which are not removed from the consent agenda are passed by a single, non-debatable motion.
How can I give input on an issue of interest to me?
Citizens can provide input on an issue of interest in any of the following ways:
Contact a Council Member directly. Contact information (including phone and email) can be found on the Mayor & Council page
Write a letter. Send or deliver a letter to City Hall, 500 Center Avenue, P.O. Box 779, Moorhead, MN, 56561-0779. It will be routed to the Mayor and/or Council Member as addressed.
Personally address the City Council at a Council Meeting. The City Council welcomes and encourages public input on issues listed on Council agendas or of general community interest.
Citizens wishing to address the Mayor and Council regarding a specific agenda item will be afforded an opportunity during the discussion of that item.
Citizens wishing to speak on matters not listed on the agenda will be afforded the opportunity to do so under the agenda heading “Citizens Addressing the Council”.
Each person requesting the opportunity to speak is asked to fill out a “Request to Speak Form” and present it to the City Clerk. This yellow form is located on the table just outside of Council Chambers.
When called upon by the Mayor, citizens will be asked to approach the podium/microphone and give his/her name and address.
All remarks should be addressed to the Council as a body, and not to any particular member.
Speakers will be limited to three minutes.
How can I find out what the City Council will be discussing at an upcoming meeting?
What is the difference between a City Council Meeting and a Committee of the Whole meeting?
At regular City Council meetings the Council acts on official City of Moorhead business. At Committee of the Whole Meetings Council Members discuss City business or other matters of interest as determined by the Council. No official action is taken at Committee of the Whole meetings.
When and where does the Moorhead City Council meet?
The City Council typically meets every second, third and fourth Mondays of each month at 5:30 pm in the Council Chambers located on first floor of City Hall, 500 Center Avenue. Regular City Council Meetings occur on the second and fourth Mondays. Committee of the Whole meetings take place on the third Mondays.
The final assessment hearing is typically held after the project has been completed and all costs are known. Property owners will receive a final assessment letter stating the final assessment hearing date and payment options. The first assessment payment is due with property taxes the year following the final assessment hearing. Partial or full payments can be made after the final assessment hearing.
How long will a project take?
It depends on the type of the project:
Mill & overlay projects typically take 2 to 4 weeks
Rehabilitation projects (full pavement replacement, keeping existing curb & gutter) typically take 6 to 10 weeks
Full reconstruction projects (with curb & gutter replacement) typically take 12 to 16 weeks
What are the consequences of not constructing street projects?
Continued street deterioration
Increased wear & tear on vehicles
Increased maintenance costs for the City (paid via property taxes)
Damage to underground utilities
Higher future special assessments
More expensive repair (for example reconstruction instead of rehabilitation)
Increased construction costs (due to inflation)
How does the City determine my special assessment?
City policy strives to create equity among all property owners. On average, approximately 25-35% of street project costs are paid through special assessments. On average, approximately 65-75% of street project costs are paid through federal funds, MSA funds, and property taxes.
Primary Benefit Rates
Paid for the street you abut/access (typically the short side of the property)
Assessment rates ($/adjusted front foot) are based on type of project (mill & overlay, rehabilitation, reconstruction) and set by City Council annually
Secondary Benefit Rates
Paid for minor arterial and collector streets
Higher volume streets that “connect” you to other parts of the City
Every property participates in projects associated with two collector/minor arterial streets (typically one North-South and one East-West)
Assessment rate ($/equivalent single family property) is fixed, regardless of project type
Why does the City use special assessments for street projects?
The total cost for street reconstruction, rehabilitation, and mill & overlay projects in the City’s 2010-2014 Transportation Capital Improvement Plan is approximately $6.3M per year.
Federal and MSA funding is insufficient, limited to certain streets, and/or requires a local match (20%).
The City does not maintain a capital improvement fund sufficient to “pay cash” for street projects. A “cash” fund for street projects would at least double property taxes.
The City bonds (or borrows) money to pay for street projects. State statute requires that at least 20% of the project cost be special assessed.
What sources of funds are available for street projects?
Federal funds. The City competes with five other cities in Mn/DOT District 4 for approximately $1.2M in federal funding annually. Historically, the City has received the equivalent of $0.5-0.6M per year
Municipal State Aid (MSA) funds. The City receives approximately $1M annually
Federal and MSA funds can only be spent on minor arterial and collector streets. The City uses these funds to offset or reduce special assessments and/or property tax funds spent on street projects. MSA funds are also used as a local match (20%) for Federal appropriations (80%) for larger projects with citywide benefit.
City-wide Property tax collections
Special assessments to properties in the benefiting area
How can I obtain information about level III offenders living in my community?
Is it okay to take steps to try to get a predatory offender to leave the community?
No. The community notification law is a civil law aimed at furthering public safety and is not considered punishment. The harassment of individuals subject to community notification by community members could lead to a court deciding that the law is punishment and unconstitutional in certain cases; if this happened, Minnesota's ability to conduct community notification on predatory offenders would be significantly reduced.
Are predatory offenders wanted by the police?
Generally, no. Community notification is not part of the offender's punishment for an offense. Most sex offenders residing in the community have served the prison or jail times imposed on them and have been properly released to live in the community. Although many of these offenders are still under some form of correctional supervision (i.e., probation or supervised release), some are not.
What type of community notification occurs for the various risk levels?
The type of community notification that occurs depends on the risk level to which an offender has been assigned. The depth and breadth of the disclosure depends upon the level of danger posed by the offender, his or her pattern of offending behavior, and the need of community members for information to enhance individual and community safety. Notification for the three levels is as follows:
Level I Offenders
The law enforcement agency may maintain information about the offender within the agency and disclose it to other law enforcement agencies. The law enforcement agency also may disclose the information to any victims or witnesses to the offense committed by the offender. The agency must disclose information to victims of the offense who have requested disclosure and to adult members of the offender's immediate household.
Level II Offenders The law enforcement agency may disclose the same information it may disclose on Level I offenders and it also may disclose information to agencies and groups the offender is likely to encounter. These agencies and groups include the staff members of public and private educational institutions, day care establishments, and establishments and organizations that primarily serve individuals likely to be victimized by the offender. The agency also may disclose information to individuals the agency believes are likely to be victimized by the offender based on the offender's pattern of offending or victim preference.
Level III Offenders The law enforcement agency must disclose the information to the persons and entities that may receive notice about Level I and II offenders. In addition, the agency must disclose information to other members of the community whom the offender is likely to encounter, unless the agency determines that public safety would be compromised by the disclosure or that a more limited disclosure is necessary to protect the identity of the victim. When a Level III offender moves into a community, law enforcement typically holds a community meeting to provide information about the offender.
What are the various risk levels and what do they mean?
There are three levels, as follows:
Level I offenders have a risk assessment score that indicates a low risk of re-offense.
Level II offenders have a risk assessment score that indicates a moderate risk of re-offense.
Level III offenders have a risk assessment score that indicates a high risk of re-offense.
Unassigned offenders have not been through the Minnesota Penitentiary System and thus assigned a risk level. These Offenders from other states are treated as Level II offenders.
Who is a predatory offender?
A predatory offender is an offender who is required to register under the predatory offender registration law, except for individuals who are required to register solely because of a juvenile delinquency determination. A person is treated as a predatory offender if the person has committed felony criminal sexual conduct or certain other designated sex crimes, kidnapping, or false imprisonment. These crimes are often referred to as predatory offenses. The law recognizes as predatory offenders those individuals who have committed these crimes under Minnesota law, federal law, or the law of other states. The law also requires registration of certain individuals who have been civilly committed as sexually dangerous persons or as mentally ill and dangerous, provided the person was charged with a predatory offense.
What is community notification?
Minnesota's community notification law requires assignment of risk levels to predatory offenders (i.e., sex offenders) who are required to register under Minnesota's predatory offender registration law. Based upon the risk level assigned to the offender, law enforcement must share certain information and may share other information about the offender with certain individuals and entities in the area where the offender lives, works, or attends school. This law aims to increase public safety by letting people know where these offenders are in the community.
What are the requirements for disability parking permit?
During normal business hours, contact the Police Department at 218.299.5120 to pay the fees and arrange a time to release the car.
Will you issue warnings or tickets before towing?
Warnings will not be issued in the case of snow events or when a vehicle is blocking someone's driveway regardless of the weather. It was very clear from the parking study that illegal parking and the narrowing of streets due to incomplete snow removal are both a safety concern and major frustration.
Will vehicles with disability license plates or residential parking permits have to move their cars for snow removal?
Yes. Vehicles with disability license plates or permits are not subject to the 3-hour parking time limit, but are subject to all other parking regulations. All vehicles will have to be moved during snow removal periods and posted street maintenance schedules.
What are the hours of the Snow Removal District parking restrictions?
What happens if I lose my Residential Parking Permit?
A replacement fee of $25.00 applies. The permit holder/property owner must complete a replacement permit application and file a police report to limit fraudulent redistribution and replacement of issued permits. An individual in possession of a stolen permit is subject to criminal prosecution.
Can a tenant in a rental unit in the 3-hour zone apply for a Residential Parking Permit?
No. The property owner must make the application and determine how the permit will be shared between the tenants living in a rental unit.
Do residents have to follow the 3-hour parking requirements?
Yes, except that property owners with homes on streets adjacent to the 3-hour zone may apply for a permit (one per property) to exempt one vehicle from the 3-hour parking restriction in the block adjacent to their home. All other vehicles must follow the parking requirements posted on the streets for the scheduled restriction periods. Three hour limits are not in place during evenings, weekends, or summers when the parking congestion is not typically a problem.
How far do I have to move my car to avoid a ticket in a 3-hour zone?
The car must be moved at least one City block for the 3-hour time period to be restarted.
Who do I call if my driveway is blocked by a vehicle?
You may call the Police Department at 218.299.5120.
Where can I park?
Boulevard signs will be posted for the restrictions that apply to each block. Utilize driveways and parking lots whenever possible. Cars may not be parked on grass, in front yards, or across the sidewalks. MSUM does permit free parking in some of their lots after 5 pm and that may be an option for neighbors during snow events. Those lots are signed accordingly.
What is a rental unit?
Any room or group of rooms within a dwelling and forming a single habitable unit. Rental unit also includes a lot in a manufactured home park which is rented to a person or entity to place a manufactured home on the lot, whether or not the home is owner-occupied or leased.
What is a rental?
The leasing of a rental unit to a non-owner for any period of time, including "lease to buy, contract for deed, installment sales, purchases", and other similar arrangements whereby non-payment of a periodic payment means the occupants may be evicted without the necessity of either a statutory mortgage foreclosure procedure, a statutory termination of contract for deed procedure, or a statutory repossession procedure.
What is a dwelling?
Any building, including a "manufactured home (mobile home)" which is intended to be used for living or sleeping by human occupants.
Are there any registration exemptions?
Yes, campus dormitory and campus residence units, hospital units, nursing home units, retirement home units, or other similar units which are otherwise licensed by the state or city.
What do I have to do if I just purchased a rental property and want it to remain a rental property?
Every new owner of a rental unit (whether as fee owner or contract purchaser) must contact Neighborhood Services at 218.299.5434 and provide the new owner and manager’s name, address, and phone number before taking possession of the rental property. The property has to be inspected within thirty (30) days of the transfer of the rental property. There is a transfer fee assessed to you as determined by the City.
Every owner of property currently being utilized as a single-family housing unit, who is considering converting the property to a rental property, may have the property inspected prior to completing the conversion.
What do I do if my landlord isn’t maintaining the property?
First, inform your landlord in writing of the problem using the Request for Repairs Form. If the problem persists after 14 days, submit a copy of the form to the City. If you have a life-safety concern such as a broken furnace, sewer back up, or electrical problems, you may contact our office at any time if you haven’t heard back from your landlord. If it’s an emergency, call 911.
How do I pass my initial inspection to avoid reinspection costs?
The City of Moorhead has required rental registration for over 40 years.
Do I have to register my rental property every year?
Yes, you will have an annual registration fee and inspection. Thirty (30) days prior to December 31 of the current calendar year, the City will mail you or the local manager the registration renewal forms for you to complete and return with payment. Renewal payment is also available online. The City will not register a rental unit unless the owner is current on property taxes, Moorhead Public Services bills, and any other obligations to the City.
What are the requirements to register rental property?
Current on property taxes, Moorhead Public Services bills, and any other obligations to the City.
Why do I have to register my rental property?
The city recognizes a need for an organized inspection program of residential rental units within the city in order to ensure that rental units meet city and state safety, health, fire, and zoning codes within the city. Rental registration also ensures decent, safe, and sanitary housing for Moorhead’s residents.
We live out of state during the winter months and let our house while we are away, does it need to be registered?
Yes, if the occupants are unrelated to the owner, Moorhead requires rental registration and inspection while you are away.
I own a house that my son and his college roommates live in, do I need to register it as a rental?
Yes, Moorhead does require rental registration and inspection if the owner of the house has unrelated roommates.
I own a house that my daughter and her family lives in, do I need to register it as a rental?
No, Moorhead does not require rental registration and inspection if the owner of the unit lives off-premise and occupants of unit are related to the owner.
Do I have to register my rental property?
Yes, if you are accepting anything in exchange for housing, you are required to register your property. This includes a monetary payment, paying for groceries, utilities, groceries, providing services, or property maintenance. Registration and inspection must be completed before a tenant moves into your property. If you are still not sure, please contact the Community Services Department at 218.299.5434.
Who are these appraisers and what are their credentials?
All appraisers employed by the City of Moorhead are licensed professionals. The State Board of Assessors governs and administers the licensure of assessors and sets stringent training and experience requirements. In addition, several staff are also licensed as Real Property Appraisers with the MN Department of Commerce.
What does the assessor do?
The property classification is based upon the use of the property. Individual classes of property have different class rates that are established by the State Statute and establish uniformity of taxation on like classes of property throughout the state. Depending on the class rate of the property, final taxes may be more or less than another property of the same market value with a different property class.
Estimates Fair Market Value
The law specifically requires that assessors view each parcel of real estate to appraise its market value. Property values change continuously along with market conditions. In addition to market fluctuations, physical changes are also considered when estimating the value of the property. All factors are considered in estimating the value of property. This requires periodic physical inspection of all property subject to assessment.
What is "market value"?
Minnesota Statute 272.03 defines "market value" as "the usual selling price… at the time of the assessment." It is "the price that could be obtained at a private sale or an auction sale, if the assessor determines that the price from an auction sale represents an arm's-length transaction. The price obtained at a forced sale shall not be considered. In other words, market value is the price that would prevail under competitive, open market conditions.
How does the assessor determine market value?
State law requires that the value and classification of real estate must be established as of January 2 each year. Assessing works throughout the year to estimate the market value of each property for the following January 2.
Approximately every fifth year, an appraiser will inspect the property. In addition, all new construction, alterations or improvements will be inspected and its new value calculated for January 2 of the year following construction.
Gathers Information The appraiser gathers information on all characteristics of the property that affect market value, such as size, age/condition, quality and basement finish, and features, such as fireplaces, porches, decks, etc.
Each year, the assessor analyzes actual sales of property in each city. Sales in a 12-month time period preceding the January 2nd assessment date (from October 1st to September 30th) are reviewed to determine what properties have sold for on the open market. These sales are used as a guide to help determine what similar properties would likely sell for if they were placed on the market.
Computes Value The property characteristics are entered into a computerized appraisal system. Information on actual sales is updated into the system to reflect market trends and compute each property's value. The market value estimated by the assessor should be very close to the amount the property would sell for if placed on the open market. The State Board of Equalization requires the overall level of assessment to be between 90% and 105% of market value. Assessors in the City of Moorhead and Clay County consistently meet this standard.
A Value Notice is mailed to each property owner around the end of March and the first part of April every year. The assessment on January 2 forms the basis for the following year's tax. For example, the value and classification on January 2, 2007 is used to calculate the tax payable in 2008.
What do I do if I think my property is valued or classified incorrectly?
Examine the value notice you receive, generally mailed in March - April. If you have a question or if you think your property assessment for this year is incorrect, follow these steps:
Step 1: Talk to your assessor
Call the number listed on the notice and discuss your concerns with Assessing staff
Review sales information
The assessor will address issues and concerns to attempt resolution prior to the Board of Appeal and Equalization
Step 2: Attend the Local Board of Appeal and Equalization (LBAE) (or Apply Directly to the Minnesota Tax Court - see step 4)
The Board of Appeal and Equalization meets at the city or township level
The City of Moorhead LBAE usually meets the third Tuesday in April at 7:00PM
Appeal in person, by letter, or by designated representative