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City committee approves loan help for BCRG

The Jamestown Finance and Legal Committee approved a $100,000 Flex Pace interest buydown for the Buffalo City Rotisserie Grill during its regular meeting Tuesday. The issue passed on a 3-2 vote with members Dan Buchanan and Steve Brubakken dissenting and Charlie Kourajian, Ramone Gumke and Mayor Katie Andersen in favor.

The Flex Pace interest buydown program uses a grant from the Bank of North Dakota and a loan from the Jamestown/ Stutsman Development Corp. to reduce the interest payments on the business's primary loan.

A loan in the amount of $100,000 from the JSDC had been approved but never utilized by the Grill in 2010. That money was then deobligated. Since then the amount of the Bank of North Dakota grant has been reduced, lowering the common JSDC loan amount to $54,000.

"If we approve it I would approve it at $100,000," Brubakken said.

Andersen said the JSDC could participate in the Flex Pace program at whatever level it chose. She said the Bank of North Dakota now contributes $100,000 to each business with the local jobs development agency required to furnish a minimum of $54,000.

"We can contribute $100,000 if we chose for the project," Andersen said.

The committee took no action on a letter from Laurie Markegard concerning problems with transients in her backyard, which is adjacent to Walmart in south Jamestown.

"I think my letter said it all," she said. "We came to the City Council meeting when Walmart was built with these concerns. Since we have had at least one sex offender watching our children and another person defecating in our yard."

Markegard said that at the time of the construction of the Walmart store, she had requested a fence between the properties.

"We were told a berm would be built," she said. "That doesn't stop anyone, it just serves as an overlook to look into our property."

John Shafer, manager of the Jamestown Walmart, said the store policy had changed in June to prohibit overnight camping in the Walmart parking lot. Signs declaring the policy had just arrived but would not be installed until August.

"We support Laurie and Brian in dealing with the unwanted transients," he said. "We don't want the unwanted people on our lots either."

Gumke said that Markegards should post no "trespassing signs" on their property and call law enforcement if any other problems occur.

Markegard said she was still concerned the problem would remain.

"I'm wanting more," she said. "I'm looking to feel safe on our own property."

Andersen said the city should also look at updating its ordinances that deal with panhandlers and could consider prohibiting overnight camping in areas with commercial zoning.

In other business, the committee approved offering 75 percent special assessment financing for the infrastructure necessary for 10 lots within Meadow's Addition on Third Street Northeast.

Buchanan argued that the provision to allow 75 percent of the infrastructure costs to be financed through special assessments only applied to new subdivisions.

"The intent was for any new development," Andersen said. "This does meet the intent of the ordinance. It is new development."

The motion to allow the special assessment financing passed on a 4-1 vote with Buchanan dissenting.

The committee also took no action on an adult entertainment ordinance. The draft contained a provision that required any adult entertainment venue to be in an industrially zoned area at least 1,200 feet from a residence, church, school or bar.

"Based on work of the engineers office, the current distances prohibit this type of business anywhere in Jamestown," said Jeff Fuchs, city administrator.

Reed Schwartzkopf, city engineer, said much of the industrially zoned land in Jamestown is along the railroad tracks with homes and businesses often as close as 100 or 200 feet.

Andersen directed the city attorney to look for other provisions that could be included in the ordinance to limit the noise and visibility of any adult entertainment venue.

Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at