February 26, 2019
Ironhide Equipment on Gateway Drive in Grand Forks is working on relocating to a larger facility west of Interstate 29.
Also dubbed “Bobcat of Grand Forks,” the midwestern heavy equipment company had its request for relocation considered Tuesday night by the Grand Forks City Council.
The property in question would be located at 3900 S. 42nd St., with JLG Architects of Grand Forks designing the new building.
“We’ve been in Grand Forks since 2000, started out with three people,” said Ironhide President Jason Vasichek. “We currently have four locations—Grand Forks, Bemidji, Williston and Devils Lake.”
City staff informed council members on Tuesday the building will meet aesthetic and zoning requirements. The council ultimately voted to give the request preliminary approval, on the condition of further research.
Some council members were particularly concerned with a request from Ironhide and JLG to use crushed concrete for a portion of the new site’s parking lot.
“Really, the underlying request here is to talk about a crushed concrete surface in an area that would otherwise have to be fully paved with asphalt pavement or concrete,” City Planner Brad Gengler told the council on Tuesday.
City code requires that businesses pave their parking lots, meaning Ironhide would need special permission from the council to use crushed concrete.
“The main reason for that surface is just durability,” Vasichek said. “It’s the large vehicles that really tear up that surface … I have personal experience with this at my current facility. It’s just a disaster, and it starts to look terrible.”
Council member Ken Vein told Vasichek, Adam Davidson of JLG Architects and city staff he had concerns regarding the way storm sewers and catch basins for drainage would work in a crushed concrete lot.
“I’m not a fan of using crushed concrete,” Vein said. “I would rather see you use concrete and do the project up front, with the right paving surface that’s according to our current code.”
Unpaved parking lots using surfaces such as gravel can lead to potholes on nearby roads, he added.