County approves reports on four grade raises for roadsThe Stutsman County Commission approved engineering reports on four grade raises necessary due to last year’s flooding at its regular meeting Tuesday. The approval moves the projects forward with bids to be awarded by the North Dakota Department of Transportation in May. The roads are south of Halfway Lake on County Road 68, two separate grade raises on County Road 67 south of Cleveland and a grade raise one mile west of County Road 67 on County Road 38.
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
The Stutsman County Commission approved engineering reports on four grade raises necessary due to last year’s flooding at its regular meeting Tuesday. The approval moves the projects forward with bids to be awarded by the North Dakota Department of Transportation in May.
The roads are south of Halfway Lake on County Road 68, two separate grade raises on County Road 67 south of Cleveland and a grade raise one mile west of County Road 67 on County Road 38.
“With the approval of the deciding documents it authorizes the state to advertise for bids,” said Mike Zimmerman, county road superintendent. “The projects are part of the Emergency Relief program and will be paid 80 percent with state or federal money and 20 percent local.”
The 20 percent local cost for the four projects is estimated at more than $600,000.
“The county has $2 million earmarked for fixing the ER projects,” said Noel Johnson, Stutsman County chief operating officer.
The commission also made a recommendation to the NDDOT on a fifth project. The first high water spot south of Cleveland on County Road 67 presented two options. It would require a 7-foot grade raise to the existing highway or the road can be routed around the water.
“The grand total for the going around the water is $1.2 million with the county share $321,000,” said Steve Thompson, project engineer for Interstate Engineering.
The cost of the grade raise of the existing road through the slough was more than $1.3 million.
The board approved recommending to the state the road be routed around the slough. Thompson said the NDDOT would have the final say on the project which would likely not be bid until October.
The commission also held a hearing on the formation of the Woodworth Fire District. Woodworth has had a fire department but no organized district. The department was supported by dues paid by the surrounding townships. By organizing as a fire district the organization will have the ability to place up to a 5- mill property tax on property in the district.
“With a tax for the fire department it will free up a little more money for the townships,” said Steve Hochhalter, organizer of the fire district effort.
The townships will be able to use the funds they had previously paid in fire department dues for road maintenance or other township necessities.
Hochhalter said the department has between 12 and 15 firefighters several of which are trained to be emergency first responders in accident of fire situations.
“That’s important in an isolated, rural area,” he said.
Representatives of Walters and Glacier townships requested their townships be removed from the proposed district which would allow them to continue an affiliation with the Carrington Fire Department.
The board approved a district boundary including all of Strong, Paris, Wadsworth, Roosevelt, Lowery and Conklin townships and portions of Pipestem, Gerber and Roundtop townships not already in fire departments.
Another hearing on the formation of the Woodworth Fire District will be held in May at which time the district will name a board of directors.
In other business the board heard the annual report of the Central Valley Health District.
“Floods and flu occupied pretty much all our time in 2009,” said Robin Iszler, district administrator.
CVHD added a chronic disease management service during 2009 and dispensed more than 6,000 vaccinations.
Iszler said the district has an annual budget of about $1.8 million and is mostly federally funded although it is administered by the county government.
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at (701) 952-8452 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org