At the Public Works Committee meeting Tuesday night, it was announced that there were 11 new homes constructed (or are in the process of being constructed) in Wahpeton in 2020. That’s a good number for us, especially considering how slow it’s been the past few years.

The city incented construction of six homes last spring, hoping to spur some growth in the housing market. I’m certainly smiling at the results.

And there’s more to come. At Monday’s Finance Committee meeting, two presentations were given regarding ideas for development on the former Central School site at Third Avenue and Second Street North. They were different concepts, but both provided viable, creative uses of that lot. Whether the committee sees fit to recommend one of those proposals or find an alternative, I’m hoping in the spring and summer of 2021 you’ll see some dirt moved and construction begin. I’ve commented a number of times since the school building was demolished how excited I am to see an entire city block revitalized. That day looks to be coming soon.

It’s not just the Central School block that has available, buildable lots. There are three for sale by the city in Westdale north of Walmart, and other sellers have lots available in various locations in the city. If you so desire, you should be able to find a place for your home sweet home.

The next topic I want to cover is an unpopular one, so please don’t shoot the messenger.

It’s snow removal.

I know a lot of you just cringed when you saw the “s” word. I shuddered a bit myself. But as there’s a 100 percent chance of snow this winter, as every year, we have to start thinking about it.

You can find the full snow and ice removal policy on the home page of the city’s website, Here’s an intro to the policy to get things going:

It’s the city of Wahpeton’s objective to provide timely, efficient, and cost-effective snow and ice control on city streets for the safety and benefit of the city’s residents and the general motoring public. The primary goal is to keep main arterials passable for emergency vehicles and public transportation. The secondary goal is to clear snow and control ice on all other streets as quickly as possible. Due to the many variables that are inherent in North Dakota weather, each storm and/or weather event may require slightly different effort and/or emphasis on any number of maintenance tasks, which together, determine the overall winter maintenance, snow removal or ice control strategy.

The last thing I’ll discuss today is related to snow but is much more fun than its removal. Last year’s Holiday Lights Parade through Chahinkapa Park was a success, and I’d like to bring that back this year — weather and COVID-permitting, of course.

Start thinking of those great lighting ideas. Entries can be businesses, service clubs or organizations, families, individuals … all are welcome. The more the merrier. Keep an eye out as more information will be coming soon.

CHRIS DEVRIES is the Community Development Director for the city of Wahpeton. He can be reached at 701-591-2109 or

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