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Cemetery access road approved at Berthold

The Berthold city council approved the construction of a new access road to the community’s cemetery, based on public input received at a special meeting held July 20th, but a question remains about payment for the project.

8/08/12 (Wed)

By Caroline Downs

The Berthold city council approved the construction of a new access road to the community’s cemetery, based on public input received at a special meeting held July 20th, but a question remains about payment for the project.

The need for the access road was highlighted last winter when Enbridge Pipeline, LLC, announced plans for a major expansion of the Berthold Station. Those plans included closing a portion of 296th Street that entered Wildrose Cemetery from the south in exchange for providing some sort of alternative route to the cemetery.

Mayor Alan Lee reviewed two options for the route that have been voiced by members of the public: building a new road to the cemetery from the city’s old dumpground road or pave the unpaved segments of a route including county roads 10 and 9 linking to U.S. Highway 2 and a final right turn into the cemetery.

“About 20 people at the last meeting were in favor of an access road through the dumpground road,” Lee said. The landfill would be closed, as dumpsters are now available instead.

Aaron Madsen of Enbridge reminded the council that a new access road would cross two small wetlands, requiring applications for two environmental permits. “Keep in mind, those environmental permits take two to three months for processing,” he said. “It will take a little bit of planning on the city’s part.”

Council members agreed the city should take responsibility for improvements needed on the present dumpground road, but payment for construction of the remainder of the access road and responsibility for future maintenance of the road did not seem clear.

Madsen said he had not seen any quotes related to costs for building the access road. “Enbridge will not take long-term ownership of the road for maintenance purposes,” he said. “Enbridge will provide the funds to do the work, and expect the city to take ownership of the road.”

Council member Mark Birdsall and Lee both voiced their understanding from previous Enbridge presentations to the council that Enbridge had offered to pay 100 percent of the costs necessary to provide the alternative road. “We’ll have to visit with Enbridge on that,” said Lee.

The council approved Birdsall’s motion to have the alternative access to the cemetery constructed along the dumpground route at no cost to the city except for improvements needed on the city’s portion of the dumpground road.

Lee told Madsen the city would bid the project and provide that cost information to Enbridge.

Residents concerned
about vehicles
speeding through town
Berthold’s need for its own law enforcement department was emphasized again as residents Tammy Lindahl and Kylene Hornberger raised concerns about the high speed of some drivers in town.

“Our house is toward the end of Main Street,” Lindahl said, “and we see drivers all the time going as fast as 50 or 60 mph.” She noted a sign was posted there for a 25 mph speed limit inside the city.

She pointed out the high number of children riding bicycles around the community and offered three specific examples of near misses between speeding traffic and residents, including one situation on Thursday when she and the four children outdoors with her at the time witnessed two pickups racing side-by-side along the city street.

“They had North Dakota license plates, with adult men as the drivers,” she added.

Lindahl asked about installing speed dips or other measures that could be taken to slow down traffic. “I’m really worried,” she said. “I’m afraid somebody is going to get killed.”

Council members discussed the use of speed dips and speed bumps throughout the city, with comments from members of the audience about the problems caused by those measures. Council member Nathan Fegley suggested an electronic sign that registers drivers’ speeds.

Lindahl and Mayor Lee both liked the idea. “A radar sign with a camera might be the most effective thing at this point,” Lee said.

He strongly encouraged Lindahl, Hornberger and other residents to take note of the vehicle make, model and license plate number of any driver suspected of speeding.

“If you have the opportunity, get a picture of the vehicle,” he added. “Give the information to us and we’ll call it in [to the Ward County Sheriff’s Office].”

In other business:
• Council members approved the minutes of the last meetings as corrected and the bills for payment as presented.

• The council reviewed complaints received about campers as permanent residences in some locations and unsightly yards and lots. The need for local law enforcement was highlighted as council members talked about the role of those officers in enforcing local ordinances.

• Council members advised two separate parties about preparing for meetings with the Planning & Zoning Committee regarding making changes to their properties.

• After extensive discussion regarding a higher-than-expected cost estimate, the council approved a motion to proceed with a paving project for the city streets, with a cap of $230,000, which was nearly double the original estimate. Jon Martin of Wold Engineering provided the specifications for the project and said a one-year warranty would be granted for the project.

• Council members discussed purchase of a bulk water station for $35,000.00, with installation at a site offered by Berthold Farmers Elevator in order to minimize heavy truck traffic on the city streets.

• The council reviewed information from the Ward County Emergency Management Office regarding a second grant application for the city’s lagoon project.  Information for the grant application was updated, especially in showing the city’s need for the project because of a ground water infiltration problem that can overflow the current system.

• Council member Steve Ibach agreed to serve as the city’s representative on the Ward County Steering Committee which is being formed to address growth and development issues in communities throughout the county.

• Council member Nathan Fegley agreed to run council meetings, sign checks for the city and conduct other business, as needed, in the absence of Mayor Alan Lee.

• Berthold resident Matt Walsh met with council members regarding his interest in a local law enforcement position. Walsh explained he had graduated from the state’s law enforcement academy in April, and he presented documentation of his training and certifications. He noted he could complete his field training under the supervision of the Surrey police chief, and he provided contact information for that individual so the council could discuss the matter further with him. Mayor Lee explained the council was planning to have a law enforcement department in place by January 2013.

“It’s good to know you’re interested,” added Birdsall.

• The next regular meeting of the Berthold city council was scheduled for Monday, September 10th, beginning at 7:30 pm. The date of the meeting was changed to accommodate the Labor Day holiday on September 3rd.