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East Grand Forks considers hosting Governor's Fishing Opener

A tourism agency for the greater Grand Forks area requested the support of East Grand Forks leaders Tuesday night as it introduced an opportunity to host the Governor's Fishing Opener in 2021.

Local Convention and Visitors Bureau Sales Manager Stephanie Bernstrom briefed city council members on the application process during the city's most recent work session.

Minnesota has held the governor's opener throughout different cities every year since 1948 to support state recreation and summer tourism initiatives, according to information Explore Minnesota and event officials provided to the CVB.

Council members were mostly in favor of Bernstrom's address, with only a few questions regarding cost and timeline.

Information from Explore Minnesota reports past budgets have ranged from $120,000 to $350,000, much of that money typically coming from in-kind contributions. Looking at the most recently announced opener for May 2019 in Albert Lea, Bernstrom said her group noticed the event receives many of the same sponsorships each year, regardless of location. In addition to the city relying on that, Bernstrom told council members the CVB will likely take on most costs as it will take charge of the application process.

The proposal is due in November 2019. If East Grand Forks advances, members from the Department of Natural Resources and other state officials will come and check out East Grand Forks for themselves before deciding.

In other news

• East Grand Forks staffers updated the City Council on an opportunity to improve the city website Tuesday night as their website provider, Civic Plus, prepares to discontinue the city's current web format. The city will either cancel its contract with Civic Plus and develop its own website in-house or pay approximately $5,625 for the company to implement a new format.

• City Administrator David Murphy asked council members to consider a formal relationship with UND and its internship program. The city has had many interns from UND, he said, but with council approval the city could solidify intern guidelines and relationships with UND to create a more positive experience for both parties.

• Mayor Steve Gander signed the budget council members passed Nov. 4, including a 5.5 percent levy increase.

Emily Allen

Allen joined the Grand Forks Herald to cover local government and politics May 2018. Call her at 701-780-1102, email her at eallen@gfherald.com or follow her on Twitter, @Emily_theHerald.

(701) 780-1102