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Out of service . . . Kenmare's old water tower standing in the
background will be dismantled now that the new tower is in service.
New water tower now in service
By Caroline Downs
Kenmare’s new water tower came into service November 13th, just a few hours before the city council meeting held that night.
Project engineer Justin Froseth of Ackerman-Estvold Engineering reported the booster pump station was delivering water from the NAWS line to the new tower. He noted water pressure in the higher areas of the city should improve as the tower continued to fill, and he said the old tower could be demolished later in the month.
Council members were happy to hear the progress report, but Mayor Roger Ness expressed concerns about demolishing the old tower so quickly. “Do we need to wait until we know all the controls are in place?” he asked. “What about any emergencies?”
Public works director Mike Thompson assured the council the city’s water needs could be met from the booster station alone. “The main purpose of the tower is for fire protection,” he said. “However, I would like to see a 30-day window before demolition.”
Froseth said no date had been scheduled to dismantle the old tower, so that part of the project could be delayed. He also reported Maguire Iron still needed to address certain items in their contract with the city, including cleanup at the site, seeding and placing the second logo on the new water tower. According to Froseth, that work will take place next spring.
The council approved payment of $25,770 to Sweeney Controls to purchase the control equipment needed for the automatic operation of the new water tower, with an additional cost expected for installation by an electrician.
Council members also approved a plat for Outlot 4, north of the new Matejovsky residence built east of Kenmare, in order to locate the booster pump station on that site. “Now, any services installed in that area can receive better water pressure,” Froseth said. The 0.46 acre site platted for the booster pump station will be purchased from owner Jim Jorgenson.
Water and sewer
to new developments
In a related matter, the council approved a payment of $452,541.02 to Wagner Construction for the water and sewer service to Gooseneck Implement and the residential development property south of Division Street between 4th Avenue and 7th Avenue.
Froseth said the total water and sewer project was 80 percent complete. “They’re committed to getting it done,” he said.
He added the remaining work includes installing water and sewer services to the individual lots within the proposed residential subdivision, although the city’s Planning & Zoning Commission still has to review and approve the plat suggested for the subdivision at their December 3rd meeting. The city will recover the funds through special assessments on the residential lots in that project.
Ness and council members expressed their concerns about reports of pressure dropping in the new water service lines in various locations. City engineer Ryan Ackerman of Ackerman-Estvold Engineering suggested the problem may be in a specific location or with a specific line, rather than with the new delivery system itself.
In a separate matter, Froseth reported on discussions with Jorgenson about proposed street lighting around Kenmare’s downtown square.
According to Froseth, Jorgenson suggested replacing the lights on the business sides of the square, with the park lighting left alone.
Froseth recommended that one or more members of the city’s Streets Committee participate in the continued discussions about the streetlight project. He also recommended further evaluation of the plans and a study of any potential cost savings.
Jail costs increase
The city will have to pay more for individuals sent to be housed in the Ward County jail, according to information Mayor Ness shared from the Ward County Sheriff’s Office.
The new rate for prisoners is $50 per inmate per day. If Ward County deputies have to transport the prisoner from Kenmare to Minot, 55.5 cents per mile and $17.45 per hour per employee is also charged.
The former rate was $23.08 per inmate per day.
Todd Ankenbauer asked if the fees could be collected back from the individual through court costs. Police chief Gary Kraft explained the costs could be recovered, depending on which court heard the cases.
Regardless of fee recovery or not, Kraft said the Kenmare patrol officers do the legwork for any cases sent on from Kenmare.
“And right now, [the jail] is full all the time down there,” he added.
Council members approved the increased rate and will continue to house inmates as needed in the Ward County system.
gets in the way
Mayor Ness and Thompson reported the city’s large “Seasons Greetings” lights typically hung across the streets at the city entrances would be moved, at the request of MDU.
The lights often catch on the top of large semi-trucks or other equipment driving on the county road through town.
Thompson said the lights may be repositioned near the lighted “Welcome to Kenmare” signs already in place at entrances to the community.
Still 30 diseased elm
trees to be removed
Most of the elm trees marked as diseased in the city have been removed, but Ness asked city auditor Barb Wiedmer and Thompson about a plan to have the rest cut down. Thompson reported about 30 trees remain to be removed, with the city receiving bids of $200 and $250 per tree from companies interested in finishing the work, with the cost assessed to property owners.
Thompson said public notices had been used to notify property owners, but that the work could not be done until a certified letter about the tree removal was received by the owner. “We can’t just go onto their property,” he said.
Wiedmer said some of the property owners live out of town, while others are local residents.
“Keep on this,” Ness said, directing city employees to go door-to-door to contact owners about trees still to be removed. “Then send letters. We need to get this done. If we don’t do something, the problem with these trees will just continue.”
book gets revised
Kenmare’s new ordinance book needed updates, a situation discovered by Wiedmer when an individual called to ask about procedures at Lakeview Cemetery.
“We didn’t have anything in there about the cemetery,” Ness said.
The city had former ordinances about Lakeview Cemetery that were not included in the new ordinance book. The council approved adding those ordinances to the new book on first reading.
Ness and Wiedmer also found the new ordinance book was missing information about the city’s annexation procedures. City engineer Ryan Ackerman of Ackerman-Estvold Engineer recommended three revisions to amend Chapter 3 of the ordinance book:
• The addition of Article 27, related to city and extra-territorial limits, with maps included.
• The addition of Article 28, to describe the extra-territorial limits of the city with the same language used in annexation documents formerly prepared for the city.
•The addition of Article 29, describing the procedure for extending the city’s extra-territorial limits.
The council approved the amendments on first reading and will review the specific amendments before second reading at the December meeting.
Council members also approved a change in Chapter 1 of the ordinance book to correct a discrepancy in the definition of the city’s extra-territorial limits. The city’s jurisdiction extends for one mile beyond the specified city limits.
In other business:
• The council approved the audit report received. Jan Kostad noted he would review the report with his records for the city.
• The council approved building permits recommended by the Planning & Zoning Commission for a garage and breezeway on the Tim Mau property and a 20’ x 24’ addition to Duane Dockter’s residence.
• The council denied a Hockey Booster gaming funds request from Kenmare Public School on a split roll call vote, with Mayor Roger Ness casting the deciding vote to reject the application. The school asked for $5,000 to be applied toward the school’s $11,000 budget for the After School Enrichment program. Christian Standard said he wanted more information about the program before. Troy Hedberg noted the city’s gaming fund had a balance of about $900.
• The council approved a gaming funds request from Rosehill Cemetery to assist with the cemetery’s mowing fund. The application listed a request of $500, with the council unanimously granting $250.
• Council members approved a motion authorizing the Ward County Emergency Management office to work on developing an emergency management plan for Kenmare. The authorization was requested by Ward County Emergency Management Director Amanda Schooling.
• Council member Chuck Leet, who serves as secretary/treasurer for the Kenmare Fire Department, reported insurance on the replacement value of three of the department’s vehicles could be raised at a relatively low cost to the city. The city’s current premium share of $1800 per year would increase to $2200 per year, but the department’s pumper, Humvee and new response truck would be covered at higher values. Leet noted the payment comes out of the fire department’s mill levy account, but he said the fire department wanted council members to be aware of the changes. The Kenmare Rural Fire District also contributes toward the department’s insurance costs.
• Council members approved a motion from Hedberg to pay a $1200 year-end bonus to all full-time city employees, with that amount pro-rated for part-time employees Candace Sieg, Cliff Emmel and Bob Jessen. “It’s the same as what we did last year,” Hedberg said. “The workload on our city staff has increased without a lot of extra help for them.”