On April 26, 1901 the Supreme Court of the state of North Dakota, in the case of Robert against Fargo Gas & Electric Co and the city of Fargo, ruled that the contract between the city of Fargo and Fargo Gas & Electric Co was void. This ruling was made by the Supreme Court for reasons that the city charter states that the city cannot make a contract for more than a year. The contract between Fargo Gas & Electric Co and the city of Fargo was originally created back in 1895. The terms of the contract was about the construction and management of the city’s new arc lighting street lamps. So by the court ruling the street lights of Fargo were not being powered or managed. In order to solve this problem the City Commissioners Board of Fargo held a special meeting to discuss a plan of action.
The special meeting was held on April 29, 1901 starting at 5:00 p.m. During this meeting a committee was created and an ordinance titled “A Ordinance Relating to Lighting”. This meeting was also considered to be the first reading of said ordinance. The second reading of “A Ordinance Relating to Lighting” was on May 6, 1901, and the ordinance was passed. Bids for the new contract would be decided on a later date.
On May 9, 1901 the City Commissioners Board held bids for the new contract. This new contract would not only contain the construction and management of street lights, it would also contain the adding of lights to public buildings. The first to bid for this new contract was the Fargo-Edison Company. Their bid was for “an all night schedule and a moonlight schedule.” In addition they would install improved enclosed arc lights that burned 500 watts per hour and have the candle power of 2,000. The cost to the city of Fargo was $7.45 for each per months for the 66 street lights that were already constructed. For public buildings, the cost was $.08 per 1,000 watts and would be measured by meters that Fargo Edison Co would install. The term would end August 31, 1901. The second bid was from the Fargo Gas & Electric Co. Their bid was for maintaining the street lights currently installed at a cost of $10 per month. In addition they would install incandescent lamps for the public buildings at $.05 per 1,000 watts. The bid provided an option to the city of Fargo if it preferred gas lights, Fargo Gas & Electric would install Welsbach Burners and the cost of gas would be at $1.60 per thousand cubic feet. The commissioner unanimously decided to accept the bid of the Fargo-Edison Co. The matter of lighting public buildings was referred to the committee on lights. The Fargo-Edison Co. went to work installing the new lights. On May 15, 1901, Mr. Hughes the manger of the Fargo-Edison Co. told the Fargo Forum “that if nothing unforeseen occurs he will have all the lights burning by Saturday night June 15.”