Originally Posted by klbd
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!
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.