City to add more counsel in water disputeThe city of Jamestown is looking to add additional legal counsel to its dispute with the Stutsman Rural Water District. An authorization for Ken Dalsted, city attorney, to retain additional counsel and consulting services came during a special City Council meeting Thursday.
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
The city of Jamestown is looking to add additional legal counsel to its dispute with the Stutsman Rural Water District.
An authorization for Ken Dalsted, city attorney, to retain additional counsel and consulting services came during a special City Council meeting Thursday.
Jamestown and Rural Water have been engaged in a conflict over which will provide water services to the area near Jamestown Regional Medical Center. The disagreement has prevented either party from providing water to the Titan Machinery project now under construction.
The move to retain additional legal help was unanimous with Councilmen Charlie Kourajian and Dan Buchanan and Mayor Katie Andersen voting in favor. Councilmen Ramone Gumke and Steve Brubakken were absent from the special meeting.
The City Council also authorized Dalsted to send a written response to Rural Water based on its offer of Dec. 16. Andersen said the letter would suggest another joint meeting between the City Council and Rural Water’s Board sometime next week.
Reed Schwartzkopf, city engineer, said the city had been successful in getting an extension from the second lowest bidder for the proposed water and sewer lines to the Titan Machinery building.
Bids for the project were opened on Oct. 16 but tabled because of the disagreement with Rural Water. The bids technically expired on Dec. 16. The low bidder, Ryan Contracting of Elko, Minn., refused to extend its bid. The second bidder, Kuechle Underground of Kimball, Minn., has extended its bid until Jan. 13.
Kuechle Underground’s bid was about $1 million or nearly $200,000 higher than the low bid by Ryan Contracting. Engineer’s estimates by Interstate Engineering had placed the project cost at about $1 million.
Geneva Kaiser, manager for Rural Water, said it holds its next regular board meeting on Jan. 9 but could hold a special meeting sooner, if necessary.
“Hopefully we come up with an agreement for the entire area and get this done,” she said.
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org