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FILE PHOTO: The newly-constructed, unpainted water tower in southwest Jamestown. (John M. Steiner / The Sun)

One color for water tower

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One color for water tower
Jamestown North Dakota 121 3rd St NW 58401

The new water tower in south Jamestown will look much like the sky above it.

The City Council voted unanimously Monday to paint it “Midwest sky.” Mayor Katie Andersen said the color could also be called a light blue.

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The single color without a logo or city name reduces the cost of the tower by $25,000 from the original price tag of about $3 million.

“We’re advised by esteemed engineers there are two ways to decorate a tower,” said Councilman Dan Buchanan. “One is to make it conspicuous, and the other is to make it inconspicuous, and I think the light blue would be just fine.”

The color and logo have been a topic of discussion for the last three City Council meetings, said Councilman Charlie Kourajian.

“It seems we spent more time on the color than on the $2 million to build it,” he said.

Work is slated to begin this spring.

The City Council also unanimously approved a letter of support for the James River Valley Library System Library Board in its effort to secure a $74,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help purchase a new bookmobile.

“We’re not asking for money,” said Joe Rector, library director. “What we need for the USDA is a letter of support from the city. We’ve already received one from the county.”

The City Council also modified the fee structure for The R.H. Johnson Company and Woodsonia Real Estate Group concerning their compensation for arranging the development to possibly bring a Menards store to Jamestown.

The original agreement paid the developers up to $900,000 for arranging the deal and selling lots adjacent to the Menards property. The modified agreement reduces the cash payment by $650,000 but transfers title to three lots adjacent to the proposed Menards property to the developers.

The developers have already been paid $100,000 for arranging the agreement with Menards. An additional $150,000 will be paid when Menards closes on the property purchase. The city will also convey title to the developers for one lot at that time. The developers will be given an additional lot at the time Menards opens and a third lot upon the development of part of the previously conveyed lots.

 “It allows the compensation for the developers to be delivered to the developers in the form of land instead of cash,” Andersen said. “The original compensation schedule still remains and the bench mark obligations for the fulfillment of the contract remain intact.”

Andersen said transferring land rather than money will make the project easier to finance.

The concept drew criticism from Buchanan, who said the developers were too involved in the project.

“They are on an awful lot of sides of an awful lot of transactions involving this,” he said.

Buchanan questioned Drew Snyder, president of Woodsonia, about its commission from the land seller and if it would charge the city a commission as part of the land purchase.

“We typically ask for a land commission that is paid by the land seller,” Snyder said. “There will be no additional assignment fees or costs when the contract is assigned to the city.”

The change to the developer agreement passed on a 4-1 vote with Buchanan dissenting.

The Jamestown Finance and Legal Committee is expected to debate financing options for the project at its April meeting prior to action by the City Council at its May meeting. Pending financing agreements, Menards could close on the property in June.

In other business, the City Council gave final approval to its crew camp ordinance but tabled final action on its beekeeping ordinance pending changes to state law concerning beekeeping operations.

The crew camp ordinance places regulations on businesses that would house and feed large numbers of construction workers in the event of a large project in the area. The beekeeping ordinance placed regulations on hobby beekeepers who maintain hives within city limits.

The council also approved the appointment of Delores Rath to the Jamestown Planning Commission.

Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at knorman@jamestownsun.com

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