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State Water Commission holds meeting in Jamestown

The North Dakota State Water Commission met in Jamestown Wednesday in the second of six meetings throughout the state.

The 10 a.m. meeting in the Jamestown Civic Center Club Room focused on changes to SWC’s cost-share policy, procedure and requirements in a draft for biennium 2015 to 2017, following legislation regarding SWC.

Officials from the city of Jamestown, the city of Valley City, Stutsman Rural Water District and Garrison Diversion Conservancy District were among those that attended the meeting.

Patrick Fridgen, director of SWC’s planning and education division, explained that House bill 1206 requires SWC to develop and maintain a comprehensive water development plan for the state, starting with hosting six public meetings, like the one in Jamestown Wednesday.

New legislation also requires more forms to be filled out for water projects, to help SWC better track funds and projects, Fridgen explained.

New cost-share requirements will impact water project prioritization by the SWC, Fridgen said.

Fridgen and Michelle Klose, assistant state engineer, continued to explain the different funding requirements, and the audience voiced feedback.

“There are a lot of resources coming into the state for water projects, and I think we just want to make sure we’re making good investments,” Klose said.

Information presented in Wednesday’s meeting was just a draft, and the SWC is looking for comments from officials throughout the state — invited to its round of public meetings this winter. There will be another round of meetings in summer 2014.

Many officials voiced concerns about the eligibility of funding, especially for small towns that may not have as many resources for water projects.

Reed Schwartzkopf, city engineer for Jamestown, said he thought the SWC was doing a good job.

“The bottom line is that we have a miniscule amount of money compared to the needs, and I’m not even talking about the wants,” he said. “This is a great job on this. You’re not done, but this is good.”

More information on SWC can be found at

Sun reporter Charly Haley can be reached at 701-952-8455               or by email at

Charly Haley
Charly Haley covers city government for the Grand Forks Herald. As night reporter, she also has many general assignments. Before working at the Herald, she was a reporter at the Jamestown Sun and interned at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, Detroit Lakes Newspapers and the St. Cloud Times. Haley is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead, and her hometown is Sartell, Minn.
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