Brief personal background, education, career, bio: 

Steve Strand

I have been fortunate to live most of my years in Pelican Rapids. After graduating from Pelican Rapids High School, I attended NDSU and graduated with a degree in Industrial Engineering. I worked in the corporate world for a couple of years, and then I started an electrical wiring harness business which I continue to operate.

My wife, Chelsea, and I have three sons who attended Pelican Rapids schools from Kindergarten through 12th grade.

I have served as President of Trinity Lutheran Church and as Chairperson for our local school board. I have enjoyed learning how each organization operates and especially enjoyed working with the other board members.

Can you list a couple of the key issues you are considering in your decision to run?

Our city administrator position is a big job. Council hopes to hire that new person before Don [Solga] retires, and I look forward to working with our new administrator.

The 2024 street project is a giant event, and I intend to make sure we can help our local businesses as much as possible.

Are you in favor of a full-time Pelican Rapids Economic Development director? Why or why not?

Full-time would be nice, but really hard on our budget. One of our options is CEDA (Community Economic Development Associates) which assists communities and counties with their economic and community development needs. The city would pay per project.

A major highway reconstruction of highways 108 and 59 in 2024 will disrupt business and travel through Pelican Rapids. Can you offer your thoughts on how to assist businesses during the difficult construction period?

I feel bad about our businesses being so disrupted. We’ll have to make sure there are plenty of signs and parking. Council will be spending many hours on this issue.

What is more important for our city right now: Building new homes and commercial space, or rehabbing-expanding-better utilizing existing homes and storefronts?

All of these are important. I’m hopeful that, with more help from grant writers, we can access more funds.

If you received a $1 million grant for Pelican Rapids city to spend any way you wanted, what would you do with it and why?

So many people have spent an enormous amount of time trying to build a nicer pool for our kids, but they are short funds, so I would apply the grant to the pool project.

General comments:

I serve on the city council to help pay back all of the benefits that my family and I have enjoyed living in Pelican Rapids. My hope is that we can make this town an even better place for the next generation, just as the generation before us provided so many opportunities for us. I enjoy problem-solving, crunching numbers on spreadsheets to determine cost-benefits ratios, and learning new things.

Everyone attending the council chambers is very fortunate, so I feel that part of my mission is to always be conscious of how lucky we are when making council decisions that affect all residents. I originally ran for council because of a complicated parking sign that I felt was unfair to residents who did not have off-street parking or a car that would start every day.