Are you making the most of GIS in your community?

Geographic information systems (GIS) technology offers communities substantial benefits.

Much more than a map, GIS is a highly effective, interactive tool that provides layers of up-to-date information quickly and efficiently so city planners and leaders can better manage their infrastructure projects and make more informed decisions.

At Moore Engineering, we help our clients leverage the power of GIS in a variety of ways – from improving maintenance schedules to choosing sites, to keeping records and more.

Hear from our experts in person

I invite you to get more in-depth insight into just how we use GIS to help clients, by attending presentations by two Moore Engineering GIS specialists – Gretchen Gottsacker and Tom Sayward – at the Minnesota GIS Annual Conference and Workshops in Rochester, Oct. 1-3.

Here’s a little bit about them and what you’ll learn in each session:

  • “West Fargo, North Dakota, CAD to GIS Conversion”

Gretchen will walk you through the conversion of West Fargo’s mapping from CAD to GIS, which included replacing utilities, parcels and subdivisions with updated GIS information. You’ll see how the conversion increased efficiency and future potential, and created functionality and legibility of the city’s special information. The project, says Gretchen, was a true cartographer’s dream that incorporated both the art and science of the geography around the city.


Gretchen has a degree in GIS, cartography and human geography, with a minor emphasis in GIS and spatial analysis from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point. She covers a range of analyses and data management at Moore Engineering, focusing on municipal, environmental and water resources mapping.

  • “Using Python to help non-GIS users rapidly gain familiarity with ArcGIS”

Tom will outline how, through a rapid increase in GIS utilization, an archaic file structure was replaced with an organized, more user-friendly and efficient design. A three-phase, multi-tier plan, the first phase focused on file migration. Phase two generated custom applications or tools for Moore engineers to use in working with clients (a custom stand-alone program outside of ArcMap), with plans for an interactive custom web map on the internet to improve efficiency and educate others on how to leverage the power of GIS.

Tom earned degrees in geography and forestry and completed the GIS certificate program from the University of Idaho. He has five years of programming experience. At Moore Engineering, he’s used Python to integrate raw HECRAS data with ARC-GIS to determine storage area floodwater flow direction, as well as calculation of how long a flooded area will be inundated.

We hope to see you in Rochester!

To learn more how about how Moore helps cities leverage the power of GIS, stop by and see me and our other GIS specialists at booth #16 at the Minnesota GIS Annual Conference and Workshops in Rochester Oct. 1-3. Questions?


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Moore again selected for PSMJ’s Circle of Excellence

For the second consecutive year, Moore Engineering was selected by PSMJ Resources, Inc., for its Circle of Excellence. Nationwide, only 63 firms made the exclusive list in 2014.

PSMJ’s Circle of Excellence highlights firms that are well-managed, based on key performance metrics that demonstrate outstanding achievements, including cash flow, productivity, business development, overhead management and staff retention. The Circle of Excellence represents the top 20 percent of participants in PSMJ’s annual Architecture and Engineering Performance Benchmark Survey.

“We are honored that PSMJ selected our company for the second year in a row,” said Jeffry Volk, Moore Engineering president and CEO. “It is a tribute to our employees, and affirms they are among the best in the nation.”

“As an employee-owned company, we are committed to sustainable business practices that create value for our company and our clients. We take great pride in doing things right and doing the right things,” added Volk. “In the end, it’s all about building great communities.”

About PSMJ

For 40 years, PSMJ Resources, Inc., has been recognized as the world’s leading authority, publisher and consultant on the effective management of architecture, engineering and construction firms. With offices in the United States as well as the United Kingdom and Australia, PSMJ offers over 150 titles in book, audio and video format. To learn more about PSMJ, visit

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Moore ALS donation tops $3,800

When Moore Engineering accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge from the West Fargo Park District, the company pledged to match all employee donations to the ALS Association, with a $1,000 minimum company donation.

As usual, Moore Engineering employees answered the call and, together with the company match, $3,820 was donated to the ALS Association to help fund research and offer support to those with ALS and their families.

Amazing what some ice-cold water will inspire!

Join us in donating to help fight ALS at

Watch the videos from all three Moore Engineering ALS Ice Bucket Challenge events:

VIDEO: West Fargo ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

VIDEO: Minot ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

VIDEO: Fergus Falls and Wadena ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

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Fergus Falls and Wadena offices complete Ice Bucket Challenge

Moore Engineering’s Fergus Falls and Wadena offices were challenged by the West Fargo office to complete the ALS #IceBucketChallenge. They did a great job, including a surprise plot twist. These offices, in turn, challenged All Building Corporation and the Fergus Falls Chamber of Commerce’s office staff.

VIDEO: Fergus Falls and Wadena ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Moore Engineering matched all employee donations to the ALS cause. Together, Moore employees and the company donated $3,820 to help the ALS Association fund research and offer support to those with ALS and their families. Super effort, everyone!

Join us in donating to help fight ALS at



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Minot office accepts Ice Bucket Challenge

Moore Engineering’s Minot office was challenged by the West Fargo office to complete the ALS #IceBucketChallenge. They did a great job, employing heavy equipment to get thoroughly soaked. The Minot office, in turn, challenged their building mates, Quality Concrete, who participated with them, and the City of Minot’s Engineering Department.

VIDEO: Minot ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Moore Engineering is matching all employee donations to the ALS cause, with a $1,000 minimum company pledge. Join us in fighting ALS by donating online at, and take the Ice Bucket Challenge yourself. We recommend waiting for a hot summer day.

Great job, Minot!

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ALS Ice Bucket Challenge accepted

Moore Engineering was challenged by the West Fargo Parks District to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. We accepted, of course, and on a chilly, breezy August day, drenched ourselves and employees from the City of West Fargo in cold water. In turn, we challenged Ohnstad Twichell Law Firm and the other Moore Engineering offices.

VIDEO: West Fargo ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

To support the battle against ALS, Moore Engineering will match all employee donations to the ALS cause, with a $1,000 minimum company pledge.

Thank you to everyone who has participated so far.  Who will join us in pouring cold water over your head?


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Community Service at its finest: Moore Engineering donates more than a gallon of blood

We recently held our semi-annual blood drive at the Moore Engineering West Fargo office. As the blood drive coordinator, I organized and planned the event through United Blood Services, a nonprofit community blood center that serves local hospitals nationwide.

The bloodmobile parked outside of the Moore Engineering office.

The bloodmobile parked outside of the Moore Engineering office.

We had 10 people participate in the drive, each donating about 1 pint of blood. This means altogether we donated more than a gallon of blood!

Making a real difference

At Moore Engineering, we understand the importance of donating blood. Quite simply, it saves lives!

Our team views the blood drive as another way to give back to the community. We donate for a variety of reasons.

One of my co-workers told me she donates because she had a family member that needed routine transfusions. Another explained that he donates whenever the opportunity presents itself. In fact, donating blood has become routine for him.

I’ve donated blood about seven times, and each time I get a greater sense of satisfaction knowing I’ve have made a real difference in the life of someone in need.

Working with people who are so committed to helping others makes me a proud Moore Engineering employee.

Kara is a human resources assistant at Moore Engineering’s West Fargo office. The most rewarding part of her job is building relationships with other employees through different projects.

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League of Cities

Looking for ways to fund infrastructure?

Underwood Water Tower Replacement

Talk to us at the League of Minnesota Cities Conference

Meeting infrastructure needs – now and in the future – is a big concern for most small communities and their leaders.

How do you maintain and modernize roads, bridges, water lines, sewers and water or wastewater treatment plants? What can you do to make sure the infrastructure your residents depend on every day to safely go about their daily lives is sound, efficient and cost effective?

Do you have a strategic plan for growth and development? What are your priorities? How will you build consensus, and last, but far from least, where will you find the money to pay for your municipal projects?

Getting from pipedreams to new pipes

Over the last 50+ years, Moore Engineering has helped dozens of Minnesota and North Dakota cities and small towns answer these and other questions – and built thousands of municipal projects. We understand the challenges, from funding to permitting to implementation to maintenance.

We also have a thorough understanding of the complexities and specifics of government funding programs, because we’ve been working with them for so many years. In fact, I’ve been introduced at meetings in Minnesota as “the person who finds ways to finance projects.”

Bottom line is this: we know funding resources inside and out, how to get the most out of them, and where to look for every available dollar. And we know how to combine your vision with our expertise to get results for your community.

Moore bang for your buck

At Moore Engineering, we take a holistic approach to engineering. That means we do more than simply consider the project on the table, particularly when it comes to funding. Our process involves looking beyond the immediate project to consider other present and future needs with additional funding opportunities.

It’s an approach that has saved our clients hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Here’s one example: a city had a plan for updating a wastewater treatment plant. We looked at the city’s additional needs – an aged, deteriorating sanitary sewer – and proposed a more comprehensive project that significantly increased the value to the community without a significant rise in projected monthly cost for users.

To learn more about how even small cities with limited budgets can make big things happen, stop by and see me at the Moore Engineering Booth 511 at the LMC annual conference in St. Cloud on Thursday, June 19. I look forward to chatting with you.

Hugh Veit is professional engineer and Moore Engineering’s Minnesota branch manager. He’s been helping Minnesota and North Dakota communities find ways to finance their infrastructure projects for 34 years. Moore has offices in Fergus Falls and Wadena, Minn.

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How Moore helps communities grow

For the third consecutive year, western North Dakota cities are among the fastest-growing communities in the country, according to the latest Census Bureau estimates. Williston led the way as the nation’s Number One micropolitan area, and Dickinson and Minot weren’t far behind. In fact, many North Dakota counties gained population.

That’s great news for a state that had been experiencing declining population in the past.

But while the oil boom has brought unprecedented growth and prosperity to North Dakota, it’s also created some significant housing, transportation, infrastructure and water challenges for communities out west. In 2011, Moore Engineering opened our Minot office to expand our ability to assist clients in that region of the state in addressing these immediate issues – and at the same time, create vision, build infrastructure, and provide guidance for development.

Each community is unique
How does a community deal with growing pains that come with rapid growth, plan for the future, and influence positive development? There are a lot of options. Answering these basic questions is a good place to begin figuring out what is right for your community:

What do you want your community to be?
subdivision 1

Or this?
subdivision 2Or this?
subdivision 3

  • What makes you unique?
  • Are you willing to embrace change?
  • How much do you want to accommodate development?
  • How do you want to manage growth?
  • How is funding being accommodated?
  • How is zoning being regulated and enforced?
  • Who is responsible for operation and maintenance?
  • What are you doing to improve quality of life?

Thinking beyond the boom
Sustainable development is one option for communities dealing with rapid change. Prosperity gives communities an opportunity to improve the quality of life for their current residents – and to give new residents who maybe came just for the job, reasons to stay.

We can listen and learn from those who come from elsewhere to live in our state. Fostering a “spirit of cooperation” will help all our communities become places people want to live for generations – something Moore Engineering has been doing for over 50 years.

We’re ready to work with you to make strategic, long-term investments in your community for years to come – through boom or bust and everything in between.

Wondering how you can improve the quality of life in your community? Let’s talk.

Brock Storrusten is Branch Manager of Moore Engineering’s Minot location. A 19-year veteran with the company, Brock served as Assistant City Engineer for West Fargo during that city’s growth and expansion and has been a member of planning and zoning boards and committees.

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Moore’s Minot office plants trees to restore city park after flood

A park without trees is like cake without frosting – just sad. So when the 2011 Minot Flood damaged 300 acres of Minot city parks, including destroying all of the trees in Centennial Park (a.k.a. Jack Hoeven Baseball Park), our city was devastated.

5A few months ago, before the snow fell, Moore Engineering’s Minot office partnered with the Minot Park District and Minot Rotary Clubs to plant trees in Centennial Park. The project was a continuation of the Rotary Planting Hope flood recovery project, aimed at cleaning and restoring Minot’s city parks, and the new trees were funded through a grant from the Minot Area Recovery Fund.

We joined Rotary members and other community volunteers for an afternoon of planting trees.

All was going well, until the Forestry Department’s auger broke. Without the auger, the Park District and Rotary Clubs couldn’t finish digging the holes to plant the trees.

Our team at Moore felt bad the crew couldn’t get the project done when they had a big group of volunteers. So, the next day, we called the Forestry Department and offered to help finish planting the trees. They were surprised and very excited.   2

A couple days later, we went back into the field to help them finish the job. It’s amazing the difference the effort of a few can make. At Moore, we’re proud to help make our community a more beautiful place.

Brock Storrusten is the Branch Manager for Moore Engineering’s Minot location.

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