By Hami Arain

Senator Amy Klobuchar was in Moorhead to discuss more than $26 million in federal funding to construct two underpasses along 11th Street.

“For nine years, this is a story of perseverance. This city’s leaders including the mayor’s predecessors have worked to secure funding to construct these underpasses on 11th street. They are incredibly critical to downtown Moorhead’s continued success,” Klobuchar said.

The money comes from the Rural Surface Transportation Grant Program. It addresses infrastructure priorities for Moorhead to improve safety and remove blockages caused by heavy rail traffic.

“The underpasses will address seven hours of daily delays and blockages stemming from heavy rail traffic, helping reduce traffic and bolster transit efficiency. They will improve safety and mobility through tackling the safety concerns that exist with the current rail structure and they will create convenient and efficient routes for people to access all businesses and restaurants downtown,” Klobuchar said.

Klobuchar also announced a $1 million grant to build a community center in Moorhead. It would serve as a hub for small businesses with its focus on promoting job growth.

Some small business owners say they are already in the process of moving to Fargo and the city of Moorhead has made little to no effort to help them stay.

Mayor Shelly Carlson says people’s loyalty to Moorhead’s small businesses can save them.

“We don’t have a whole lot of empty storefronts in the City of Moorhead. We are building those. We have that in our future plan. We just don’t have some of those places built right now. I really hope that those businesses that haven’t yet relocated are going to have the chance to find someplace and maybe restructure a little bit to be able to stay in Moorhead,” Carlson explained.

Moorhead voted to raise the city sales tax by a half percent up to more than seven percent. That will be used to fund the new community center and a public library.