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BIA Advocacy Update


Higher fines for OSHA violations in effect in 2024

The Labor Department announced its annual cost-of-living adjustments to OSHA civil penalties for 2024, with new penalty amounts in effect as of Monday, Jan. 15.

OSHA’s maximum penalties for violations will increase from $15,625 per violation to $16,131 per violation. The maximum penalty for willful or repeated violations will increase from $156,259 per violation to $161,323 per violation.

  • The increases represent an annual increase of around 3.2% from 2023 to 2022.

Top 4 OSHA violations for fiscal year 2023:

  1.  Fall Protection - General Requirements: 7,271 violations
  2.  Hazard Communication (Chemicals): 3,213
  3.  Ladders: 2,978
  4.  Scaffolding: 2,859

For a full list, click here.

Congress extends government funding through early March 

The House and Senate recently approved a short-term spending bill that will keep the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and a few other government agencies funded through March 1 and about 80% of the rest of the government funded through March 8. This includes funding for the National Flood Insurance Program, which is extended through March 8.

Additional information can be found here.

NAHB CEO and President, Jim Tobin visits Fargo

Last week, we were honored to welcome National Association of Home Builders CEO and President Jim Tobin as a featured guest at our annual New Year Celebration. Labeling 2024 as a "pivot year" Tobin explained that we should see interest rates continue to fall and level out at around 5.5 - 5% in 2025. He stressed that now more than ever is the time to prepare, because as those rates fall, demand will increase. While we already know that 16,000+ additional units are needed in our region in the next 10 years, Tobin emphasized that in addition to more housing units, a diverse housing stock that provides housing for all phases of life should also be given attention.

Updates from local mayors/officials

Also at the New Year Celebration, we heard updates from 

  • Mayor Chad Olson, Dilworth
  • Mayor Shelly Carlson, Moorhead
  • Commissioner Denise Kolpack, Fargo
  • Commission President Bernie Dardis, West Fargo
  • Mayor Kory Peterson, Horace

Each gave an overview of what happened in 2023 and what is to come for 2024. 

A common theme amongst many communities was community projects. 

Dilworth has a new fire station, a testament to the commitment to public safety and emergency response.

Moorhead has set its sights on a downtown redevelopment project spanning nine city blocks. This ambitious initiative includes plans for a community center library. They are also making improvements to Romkey Park, Matson Field Stadium, and more.

Fargo is actively working on several key projects that will shape its future. From a regional water treatment plant to Fire Station No. 8 and the expansion of Hector International Airport, the city is investing in critical infrastructure. 

Horace celebrated the completion of work on Wall Ave and welcomed new businesses, including a Sanford clinic and Dairy Queen.

While West Fargo may not have been as active in building permits this year, Commission President Dardis explained that this is a testament to the significant growth experienced in previous years. He also highlighted new city staff and encouraged members to reach out with any questions or concerns.

The New Year Celebration provided an opportunity to express our gratitude for our relationships with local mayors, city officials, and staff. We also want to thank Mayor Michael Faught, Casselton, for spending time with us in the meet and mingle before the program. It is important to foster relationships with those in communities surrounding the "main 5" as with growth, we become more interconnected each day.

As we reflect on the accomplishments shared during the New Year Celebration, we invite you to keep an eye on our website in the coming weeks, as a comprehensive blog post will delve into additional insights from the event.

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