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Commission declares an emergency

The Stutsman County Commission issued an emergency declaration during a special meeting Thursday.

The declaration cites heavy rain in the northern portion of the county occurring after the end of the previous presidential disaster declaration on July 20.

Jerry Bergquist, Stutsman County emergency manager, said the county estimated more than $277,000 in damage to township roads in a three-township area in the northeast corner of the county.

These damages will be added to damages reported in other counties. If the total of new damages in North Dakota exceeds $1 million, the state may be eligible for another presidential disaster declaration. If issued, Federal Emergency Management Agency funding would be available for the new damages.

If issued, this would be the 18th presidential disaster declaration for Stutsman County since July 1993, Bergquist said. The current high-water situation in Jamestown related to the releases from the Jamestown and Pipestem dams are covered by the earlier presidential disaster declaration.

In other action, the commission interviewed three candidates for the position of chief operating officer. Casey Bradley of La Cresent, Minn., Angela Burrs of Baxter, Minn. and LeAnn Fisher of Mohall, N.D. were all interviewed. Melvin Ruppert of Worthington, Minn., was offered an interview but declined.

The commission instructed Noel Johnson, chief operating officer of the county, to check references and perform background checks on the candidates. Commission Chairman Mark Klose said the commission intends to choose a candidate by the end of August with the individual taking over duties sometime in October.

The commission also awarded a contract for an emergency grade raise to Guthmiller Earthmoving of Medina. The work is to be completed on a stretch of road four miles south of Cleveland on County Highway 67. The bid totaled $220,000 and was $40,000 less than the engineer's estimate.

Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at (701) 952-8452 or by e-mail at knorman@jamestownsun.com

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