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Old 08-14-2008, 05:12 AM
 
16 posts, read 37,583 times
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Default Grand Forks compared to East Grand Forks

We are considering a job in Grand Forks ND - it would be a big move for us pulling up roots from the South, we we are used to minimal commute and great schools (and beachs and no winter!). A few questions about the Grand Forks and East Grand Forks -
1)how are the public schools in each? There is no info on schooldigger.com
2) Is one city more diverse than the other - we are looking for a community with Jewish community
3) How is the commute from EGF to Grand Forks, especially in winter?
I tried to look housing up, and it looked comparable, unless someone else has some insite...Also, if someone else has other things to offer about one city/state vs. the other.
This will be repeated in the MN forum to get MN input too -
Thanks in advance!
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Old 08-14-2008, 01:19 PM
 
3,464 posts, read 4,841,537 times
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Originally Posted by klbd View Post
We are considering a job in Grand Forks ND - it would be a big move for us pulling up roots from the South, we we are used to minimal commute and great schools (and beachs and no winter!). A few questions about the Grand Forks and East Grand Forks -
1)how are the public schools in each? There is no info on schooldigger.com
2) Is one city more diverse than the other - we are looking for a community with Jewish community
3) How is the commute from EGF to Grand Forks, especially in winter?
I tried to look housing up, and it looked comparable, unless someone else has some insite...Also, if someone else has other things to offer about one city/state vs. the other.
This will be repeated in the MN forum to get MN input too -
Thanks in advance!


Hi...

Where in the south do you live....I was born and raised in western Kentucky...with my parents still down there. Call me crazy...but I wanted to move north to get away from the heat and to the cold! I got my wish

Anyway...I moved to Grand Forks in 1998 and then got married and we built a house on the southend of East Grand Forks in 2003 (commonly called the pointe area). Basically the two communities are one just separated by a river which happens to separate a state. You may not be familiar but the Red River flood of 2007 severely damaged parts of the communities. Now...the flood control system (levees) are in place to protect the communities. It did involve tearing down homes and getting rid of neighborhoods right along the river and completely changed the character of both towns. For the better I think....due to the Greenway which was developed in the flood plane and consists of many parks/bike paths, etc.
But you will hear quite a bit about the flood if you come. Everyting that was damaged has been re-built and nowadays you would never know a flood occurred without the memorial plaques in place.

Grand Forks has the University of North Dakota and has always been larger and closer to I-29 and thus has almost all the shopping, restaurants and of course Univ of ND and its attractions. East Grand Forks MN has always been much smaller and has been closely tied with farming with sugar beets, potatoes and wheat being king. There is an American Crystal plant and a potato warehouse facility in EGF....so this gives much of EGF a more blue collar feel. I live on the south side of EGF south of the Red Lake River and east of the Red River (called the pointe) and it is mostly all residential with the industrial sections closer to Highway 2.

Grand Forks industrial area is along Highway 2 in the north end...while the south end (south of Demers) is mostly residential with businesses. There has been steady housing and business growth since 2000....though Fargo about 70 miles to the south still draws people due to its larger variety of shopping and restaurants.

The two cities are connected by three bridges so there is really no commute to speak of as you go from one city to the next over the river. They keep the bridges well sanded and plowed...but during the winter travel time will be a bit slower most days as snow/ice doesnt melt very much off the roads.

For me....I live way on the south end city limits of EGF and travel to work on the west end of Grand Forks near UND and it takes me 15 minutes. Same time it took to go from the far south end of Grand Forks to the north end of Grand Forks.

Overall...if you want a bit more small town-ish atmosphere than EGF fits it well...whereas if you must be closer to shopping, etc then Grand Forks is a bit better. For buying a house....we found the lot prices and homes in general in EGF to be a bit cheaper and with lower real estate taxes (but watchout for the higher MN income tax). If you are going to rent...there are plenty of new apartments avbl on the west and south side of Grand Forks where the growth has been...especially off S 42nd St and South of 32nd Ave S.

Ice Hockey is king in the area among the youth...high school and college crowd.

Weather-wise....if you dont like cold and wind it will take a bit getting used too. In my work we had someone moved from Louisiania and who was excited to see a blizzard. After the first winter he was ready to head to warmer climate. We typically get a first sticking snow around Halloween to Veterans Day with consistent snow cover in most winters from Thanksgiving to mid March. Some years are worse than others....but overall average snowfall is near 40 inches. The wind does blow in the winter creating blowing snow and drifts. Often the hardest part is getting out of our driveway due to the drift than envariably develops during wind events. It is cold too for long periods...below zero highs are common a few days a year...with subzero low very common....Last season was pretty typical with 50 days with below zero temps at least sometime during the day.

We did have someone at work who was from New York city and Long Island who was Jewish and there is a small Jewish community in the area with a synagogue in Grand Forks. Otherwise you do have some diversity due to the presence of UND...and there is some Native Americian population...and EGF has had a history of hispanic migrant workers coming north to work the sugar beet fields. While they are no longer needed for this....some hispanics did set down some roots in the area. Also the Grand Forks Air Force base west of Grand Forks (while reducing in numbers) also adds to the diversity aiding some black population that would not otherwise be there. But officially...no matter how you put it both towns are 90+ pct white.

Public schools in each are good no matter which town.

Crime and the like involve more petty stuff than anything else...while it does exist there isnt any one neighborhood where you cant walk at night or fear for your safety. Luckily there is no known gang presence in the area yet.

There are many links out there too many to list there. I can direct message you some if you like.

Dan
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Old 08-16-2008, 05:18 AM
 
16 posts, read 37,583 times
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DaninEGF - Thanks for the replies (both forums) We would be moving from Florida. Husband and kids only have seen snow once on a trip, I grew up in some, but barely remember; rest of my family is from Michigan and they roll their eyes about dealing with cold weather - in a bad way.
More details: The job would be with the USDA/ARS in Grand Forks (for me) ; husband is in IT. Kids are middle and elementary schools, so high school would be of concern as well. We have always been in ethnic diverse areas, growing up around a university here; we are a diverse family ourselves.
SO the diversity thing is a concern, unless we locate ourselves closer to UND, and the IT job thing is of concern since there does not seem to be much out that ways. Oh, and the snow thing. We hate the humidity/heat here, but at least you can easily drive and function in it.
Are there other towns around Grand Forks area in easy commute to consider as well?
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Old 08-16-2008, 02:01 PM
 
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Hi

I work at the National Weather Service which is next door to a USDA office on Technology Circle.

I personally would not let the lack of diversity concern me...for North Dakota the city is diverse and I sense open to all religions and ethnicities. You will always have a bad apple amongst us....but by and large the people in this part of country are accepting. They have never grown up in an area where racial or ethnic tensions are the norm...so they dont know any different. Where I grew up in Kentucky we were more or less taught early on to be suspcious of others (i.e. blacks) but I dont sense that up here at all. That was one positive difference between the rural South and this area.

As for living in the city....many people who work at UND live all over town as areas right near the campus tend to be more rentals or older homes.

And for other towns....Thompson is nice...it has its own school system and is the closest town (or suburb) to Grand Forks being just down the interstate. It is a small town and all your shopping for food, etc would have to be done in GF (7-8 miles away). But it does have its own school... In Grand Forks the newest middle school is South Middle school on 47 th Ave S and the newest elementary School and usually the favored one is Century. Though Schroeder middle school and Kelly Elementary on the southeast end are very good too. Pretty much all schools are good....but people usually prefer the south end schools.

IT end of things? I am not sure about it...There are some small software firms in the area.... Check Job Service North Dakota web page (just do a quick search) and it has a lot of those listing or at least a start.

There is Microsoft in Fargo....but that would be a long way to commute.

As for the winter....I agree on the heat/humidity...yuck...but many days it can be too cold too. The daycare where my son goes too wont send them out when the temperature above 90...a few days a year....and wont send them out when the temperature is below zero during the day....which does happen more than the 90 and above. On those brutally cold days you just run into the store and run out and thats about it. Many folks have heated garages for their kids to play in. Outdoor and indoor ice skating and hockey for the youth are big in schools as you will find out. I do suggest you check your vehicles for winter after you move up here being from so far south...may need different anti-freeze and a new battery. If you will park outside for extended periods...you will need a heater plug in as well installed (60-70 dollars) and people love those remote-starters where you can start the vehicle from inside and have it ready to go when you go out. Beats scrapping the windshield. I lived in southeast Michigan for a few years (Novi-Ann Arbor area) and at least in that part of the state....their cold doesnt compare to ours...much warmer down there as 30s are common in January where that is extremely rare up here. Our average temperatures for mid January (coldest part of the season) is 13 for a high and -8 for a low.

Dont want to scare you off at all about the cold but it will be an adjustment..but if you dislike the heat/humidity a good one.

any way I can help let me know. Realtor recommendations, etc....

Dan
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Old 08-18-2008, 01:17 PM
 
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Default klbd...I don't have much insight on which is better....

But I wanted to let you know that this whole area up here is just beautiful!

My family and I moved up to NW Minnesota (about 60 miles east of EGF) in August 2007. We moved here from Florida and we did indeed survive our first winter.

Of course, I am originally from MI and craved a cooler climate, whereas my husband and children had never seen snow before!

I am in a very small town presently and looking to move westward at the end of the school year. I enjoy small town life and was looking at Crookston, MN....but feel EGF or even GF might be a better choice for my family. I want my children to feel safe, yet have a chance to experience life of the city.

Wether you chose EGF or GF, you will enjoy the friendliness of the people of here and the beauty of the land.

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Old 08-18-2008, 01:55 PM
 
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As someone who has been in the IT community for going on 15 years, chances for finding an IT position in Grand Forks is very small. There isn't much available there to begin with and the jobs that are there usually are filled by knowing someone (word of mouth..."Hey there's an opening with my company soon, you should apply" type thing). You may be looking at a commute to Fargo if you want an IT job.

I'd say that Dan hit it right on the head on what you would expect for living in GF. There was some trouble with some college kids a few years back harassing some Jewish people but that was pretty much taken care of from what I heard in the news (it was a one-off thing).

I would suggest FargoJobs.com, North Dakota Job Service, In-Forum.com (main Fargo/Grand Forks paper) if you are looking for something.
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Old 08-18-2008, 02:32 PM
 
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You sound very knowledgable on the area. My son is considering attending UM at Crookston. What can you tell me?
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Old 08-18-2008, 08:11 PM
 
3,464 posts, read 4,841,537 times
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Originally Posted by rusty0808 View Post
You sound very knowledgable on the area. My son is considering attending UM at Crookston. What can you tell me?
I dont have any specific info regarding UMC academics, etc....but I do know I have driven by it many times and have given weather talks in one of the big halls a few times as well for my job. I personally have always liked UMC and how the campus looks....it is very clean with old time styled buildings. I would consider it a great place to go for 2 years or so before maybe going to a larger school. Depends on your degree through as our next door neighbor got an IT/computer degree there. We have a 3 yr old....but if he was older I wouldnt have any problem. The campus is on the west side of town just off Highway 2.

University of Minnesota, Crookston
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Old 08-19-2008, 05:45 PM
 
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Thanks for the replies. How far is Fargo/Moorhead area from Grandforks? And how long in winter weather? Are there suitable towns in between?
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Old 08-19-2008, 08:02 PM
 
3,464 posts, read 4,841,537 times
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Hi

Fargo is 70 miles from Grand Forks.

If it comes down to it...and you work in GF and your husband in Fargo a middle of the road place would be either Mayville or Hillsboro. One of our weather forecasters does that as he works in GF and his wife was nurse in Fargo. It takes him about 45 min to Grand Forks... Mayville is a bit off the interstate (west of I-29 about 10 miles) while Hillsboro is right off the interstate a bit farther south. Both communities are actively trying to get new residents and may offer some incentives. There is a small state school in Mayville (Mayville State University). I would only do this myself if it had to be done...as in winter you just never know how the trips will be. We dont really get that much snow....but it is the wind that is the main issue which can whip the snow on the ground and cause white-outs. They have closed the interstate before due to blowing snow...though I-29 being a North-South road isnt has bad as an east-west road like I-94 as winds in most of these blowing snow events are from the north and thus the snow will not accumulate that much on the roads. That being said I would exhaust all options in Grand Forks first for IT positions. I wish I could point you in some better direction on this but just dont know much about the computer job industry in the local area.

Good luck
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