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Horace’s rapid growth puts strain on water and sanitation – InForum

HORACE – The population of this dormitory community has skyrocketed 27% over the past decade, and city leaders are scrambling to expand the capacity of its water tower and sanitation system.

The town of 3,085 just south of West Fargo has a water tower with a capacity of 75,000 gallons, but with its rapidly growing population, Horace is considering a new tower that could hold 350,000 to 500,000 gallons.

Horace also faces an urgent need to expand his sanitation capacities. Its connection to the Fargo sewerage system will be adequate until 2024, when it will need to be completed with a second pipeline, Mayor Kory Peterson said.

Infrastructure upgrades come at high prices. The cost of a larger water tower is estimated at between $ 2 million and $ 3 million, and the second connection to the sanitation system is expected to cost between $ 4 and 5 million, the mayor said.

Peterson, who moved to Horace in 2000 for its rural atmosphere, recently appeared before an interim committee of the North Dakota Legislature to seek state financial assistance.

He hopes financial help can arrive before the Legislative Assembly meets in 2023. Low-interest loans or state grants would make projects more affordable.

“You can’t tax people to death,” Peterson said in an interview. “One way or another, these projects have to come to fruition.

Horace, now adjacent to West Fargo, is engrossed in the sprawl of the metropolitan area and has an increasingly suburban feel compared to the “sleepy” farming town it has long been.

The rapid growth over the past decade, which Peterson says is expected to continue for half a dozen years, has put a strain on the city’s infrastructure.

Horace hired an engineering firm to advise the city on the size of the new tower. Too small, and the city’s water pumping costs are increasing; too big and the water can stagnate.

“It’s a balancing act,” said Peterson.

The city’s infrastructure must grow along with population growth. The 2020 census put Horace’s population at 3,128, but Peterson believes the population is now around 3,800 or 3,900 and could exceed 4,000 by March as new homes under construction are completed. .

City officials have heard “rumbles” that Horace could see 350 to 360 new homes built in 2022.

“We realized we had to increase the water capacity,” Peterson said.

As Horace grows up, he loses his identity as a “sleepy” small town – the quality that attracted Peterson in 2000 – and takes on more of a suburban feel.

“You could see what was going on on the road,” Peterson said. City officials aren’t trying to slow growth, but they want to plan for orderly growth, he said.

Horace’s growth has been residential so far, but the mayor predicts that developments like linear shopping malls to serve local residents are not far in the future.

“They are waiting for the rooftops,” he said of business developers. “They have more eyes looking that way than maybe a year and a half ago.”