City, Rural Water fail to reach turf agreementA full day of meetings and negotiations did not result in an agreement between the city of Jamestown and Stutsman Rural Water District Friday. The two sides are likely to continue negotiations next week although no meetings are scheduled.
By: By Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
A full day of meetings and negotiations did not result in an agreement between the city of Jamestown and Stutsman Rural Water District Friday. The two sides are likely to continue negotiations next week although no meetings are scheduled.
At issue is who will provide water to Jamestown Regional Medical Center and the surrounding area including Titan Machinery’s building currently under construction.
The joint meeting Friday morning led to no agreements, only discussion. This was followed by an executive session meeting by Rural Water and then a special City Council meeting in the afternoon.
The City Council reviewed terms from Rural Water that included:
* Jamestown paying Rural Water $15,000 for lost profits due to the city providing water to JRMC. Rural Water had originally asked for $2.91 per 1,000 gallons for all water used by JRMC since it opened. The city estimated that amount at about $25,000.
* Rural Water would be allowed to provide a backup water supply to JRMC.
* Jamestown would be allowed to provide water to Titan Machinery but would be required to pay a royalty of $1.50 per 1,000 gallons with the royalty rate to increase by the consumer price index or the percentage rate increase Rural Water imposes on its customers, whichever is higher.
* The contract would be in place for 40 years or as long as Rural Water is in debt.
“We’re all motivated to get this taken care of,” said Roger Florhaug, member of the Rural Water board. “We are limiting this to the Titan and hospital area and other areas would have to be negotiated.”
The city had requested a comprehensive agreement that would apply to all areas surrounding Jamestown.
The wording of the communications from Rural Water’s attorney, Scott Sandness, also concerned Jamestown officials.
The letter said the information was “not an offer, however it is intended to express terms which Rural Water has an interest in incorporating into a final definitive settlement contract.”
“This is not a stable enough document,” said Reed Schwartzkopf, city engineer. “This is not at a point where we can accept terms.”
Jamestown was under a deadline to accept bids opened on Oct. 16, to construct water and sewer infrastructure to Titan Machinery. Without action to accept, the bids expired at the end of business Friday.
“The simple suggestion is the 60 days are up,” Schwartzkopf said. “We have Interstate Engineering contact the bidders to try to extend the bids. If the bidders refuse to extend, the city would have to rebid the project.”
The original project called for completion in March to coincide with Titan Machinery’s completion of construction.
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at email@example.com