Burn ban still in effectThe Stutsman County Commission agreed to keep the county-wide burn ban in place during its regular meeting Tuesday.
By: Kari Lucin, The Jamestown Sun
The Stutsman County Commission agreed to keep the county-wide burn ban in place during its regular meeting Tuesday.
“The good news, if there is any good news, is — we haven’t had any fires out there,” said Jerry Bergquist, Stutsman County emergency manager.
The burn ban only comes into effect when the fire danger index issued by the National Weather Service is very high or above, which has occurred just three times since the county put the burn ban into effect on March 16.
“That was the intent of that — to give a little flexibility so farmers could burn, but not burn on those really high (fire danger) days,” Bergquist said.
To see what the fire danger index is for Stutsman County, people can visit the county’s website at www.co.stutsman.nd.us and click on “Burn Ban Information” on the lower right side of the page.
The site includes a current map of North Dakota’s burn bans, as well as a link to the full text of the fire emergency declaration and burn ban proclamation.
Exceptions to the ban include propane/gas-, kerosene- or alcohol-burning cooking stoves in residential areas and established residential camping areas and outdoor welding. In both cases, however, a person burning must have ready access to a fire extinguisher.
As of Tuesday afternoon, 28 North Dakota counties had burn bans in effect.
Bergquist polled fire chiefs across Stutsman County, and all said the burn ban should continue — except one who reportedly didn’t care.
The burn ban will continue until the commission decides it should be lifted.
Anyone violating the ban is guilty of a class B misdemeanor, which is punishable with a $1,000 fine and 30 days in jail.
In other business Tuesday, the commission:
* approved a bid from Border States Paving for $516,621.35 for three paving projects involving roads raised during the 2009 floods.
* set wages for poll workers at $12 an hour, up from the $10 an hour paid at the last election.
* designated the Stutsman County Courthouse as the early voting precinct. It will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday between May 29 and June 11, as well as from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 2 and 9.
* received a listing of 179 landowners encroaching on road right-of-ways within Stutsman County. The landowners will have until October to re-establish the county’s right-of-way, or the county will hire a contractor to reseed the grass, bill the appropriate landowners and, if the bill is not paid, apply it to taxes.
* updated its financial policies to comply with governmental accounting standards.
* approved the chip-sealing of 17 miles of county roads.
In addition, the Stutsman County Park Board:
* discussed the assignment of leases at Spiritwood Lake, including the possibility of changing them to permits and changing the lengths of the leases.
* agreed to let the CRP contract for 81.7 acres of land at Spiritwood Lake lapse. The grasses would likely need to be reseeded and volunteer trees would need to be removed.
* entered into an agreement with Stutsman County Rural Water to supply water to Pelican Point Landing.
* set boat dock permit rates at $150. There will be four.
* accepted an additional $40,000 from the Bureau of Reclamation for improvements to Pelican Point for recreation projects, which the county will match. The money is an addition to an earlier $42,000, which will also be matched by the county.
Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at 701-952-8453
or by email at